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PM Modi meets UK PM; UN Secretary Gen amid Pakistan efforts to internationalise Kashmir

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The Economic Times
25th August, 2019 23:40 IST

BIARRITZ(FRANCE): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday met his British counterpart Boris Johnson and UN Secretary General António Guterres amid Pakistan’s efforts to internationalise the Kashmir issue ahead of UN General Assembly session in September.

“PM Modi begins by congratulating PM Johnson on England’s spectacular win in the Third Test of the Ashes a short while ago. The two leaders are discussing ways to strengthen India-UK cooperation,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.

This was the first meeting between the two leaders after Johnson became the PM last month. “PM @narendramodi had a good meeting with UK PM @BorisJohnson on margins of #G7 summit. Discussions focused on strengthening our bilateral ties going forward, inter alia, in trade & investment, defence & security, S&T and education...,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

According to officials, UN Secretary General’s reference to the Simla Agreement, in one of his earlier statements after India changed the constitutional status of J&K, has limited the scope for Pakistan. While UK has claimed that it did not support China during the UNSC closed-door informal meet on Kashmir on August 16, informed sources told ET that the UK was the only other UNSC member to demand a formal meet on Kashmir.

Last week during a phone call Modi raised with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson the issue of violence and vandalism perpetrated by a large mob against the High Commission of India in London on August 15 in the backdrop of Pakistan's attempts to internationalize Kashmir issue.

Modi drew attention to the challenges posed by vested interests pursuing their motivated agenda, including by violent means. In this context he referred to the violence and vandalism perpetrated by a large mob against the High Commission of India in London on the last Independence Day of India.

Johnson regretted the incident and assured that all necessary steps would be taken to ensure safety and security of the High Commission, its personnel and visitors.

"The Prime Minister made clear that the UK views the issue of Kashmir as one for India and Pakistan to resolve bilaterally. He underlined the importance of resolving issues through dialogue," a Downing Street spokesperson had said in an official readout of the phone call.

.Both leaders had then agreed that as the world’s pre-eminent democracies, the two countries have much to contribute together to effectively addressing the many challenges faced by the world today.

Modi had pointed out that terrorism had plagued all parts of the world, including India and Europe. He stressed the importance of effective steps to ward off the threats posed by radicalisation, violence and intolerance, particularly in the context of the expanding footprint of terrorist organisations such as ISIS.

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