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MEPs visit to Kashmir was a surprise: Top EU official

MEPs visit to Kashmir was a surprise: Top EU official
November 07
16:36 2019

New Delhi, Nov 7: The visit of the EU members of parliament to Kashmir came as a “surprise” to other European Union members, a top EU official said on Thursday, adding that while the EU recognises India’s security concerns they equally recognise the Kashmiris’ fundamental rights.

Christian Leffler, EU Deputy Secretary-General for Economic and Global Issues, told an audience here on Thursday evening that the EU also realises that while things have improved in Kashmir since the Aug 5 abrogation of special status, “it’s not quite there”.

He said the EU is also for bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan to resolve the “issues that are still open”.

He said the visit of the MEPs, which caused a controversy in India, “came as somewhat of a surprise to many of us”.

He reiterated the EU’s position on Kashmir — “recognition of the legitimate security concerns of India, but equally of all the rights of the Kashmiris”.

He said the EU stands for respect for fundamental rights, ” full rights for all fundamental rights” as the rest of Indians enjoy.

“Though things are mostly back” in Kashmir since August 5 , “but not quite”, he said.

He said India has “very real security concerns” with regard to Kashmir, and the EU has “repeatedly” voiced this concern to Pakistan.

He said the EU is for a “stable and sustainable solution to issues that are still open” between India and Pakistan through dialogue, as well as “stopping support to those who spread violence”, referring to militancy and cross border terror.

–IANS

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