EU urges Pakistani, Indian PMs to hold Kashmir talks

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Over 40 members of the European Parliament have signed letters that have been sent to Prime Minister Imran Khan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking them to enter dialogue to resolve the tension between the two countries.

The cross-party letters were organised by British MEP Dr Sajjad Karim and signed by members from Sweden, UK, Finland, Italy, Romania, Portugal, Poland, Luxembourg, Lativa, Belgium, Spain, France and Germany.

“We welcome the strong opening of avenues for dialogue and peace demonstrated by the voluntary repatriation of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to India by Pakistan,” the MEPs said.

They expressed their concern over the growing tensions between India and Pakistan over the Line of Control in Kashmir. “The EU is uniquely placed to assist and should work towards this end and stand ready to do so should the right conditions emerge,” read the letter.

“No long-term solution is possible without the participation of the people of Kashmir in dialogue. We encourage all sides to endeavour towards this end,” they said.

The foreign minister of Luxembourg visited Pakistan on Thursday and said in a press conference with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi that there is a need for positive cooperation between the EU and Pakistan. He also announced a new strategic engagement plan.

“Pakistan would welcome any mediation from the EU and we have written to it, asking it to play a role in defusing the situation and helping us deescalate. They have a responsibility and Jammu and Kashmir is on their agenda… If Europeans can mediate, Pakistan would welcome that,” Qureshi had said.