Jaishankar meets Turkish FM after Erdogan tones down Kashmir reference

by IANS |

United Nations, Sep 21 (IANS) External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar met Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu for a wide-ranging discussion on global affairs, hours after Ankara's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a neutral-sounding reference to Kashmir in his General Assembly address.

In a tweet after the meeting on Tuesday, Jaishankar said they held a "wide-ranging conversation that covered the Ukraine conflict, food security, G20 processes, global order, NAM (Non-aligned Movement) and Cyprus".

Turkey is embroiled in the confrontation on the divided island of Cyprus between its ethnic compatriots who hold the breakaway northern part of it and the Greek Cypriots.

In his speech on Tuesday morning, Erdogan struck a neutral-sounding stance and said: "We hope and pray that fair and permanent peace and prosperity will be established in Kashmir."

He avoided internationalising Kashmir by even invoking UN resolutions as he had last year or criticising India in strong terms in the years before that.

Besides Pakistani politicians, Erdogan is the only other leader to mention Kashmir in recent years in speeches at the 193-member Assembly.

Turkey has assumed a pivotal role in negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, and with the UN it helped open up Kiev's ports for foodgrain exports through the Black Sea.

Also on Tuesday, Jaishankar met Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, whom he called "my dear friend" in a tweet that said that they "discussed expanding our cooperation in mobility and education".

"Appreciate his insights on the Ukraine conflict and its consequences," he added.

Schallenberg said in his tweet that they "had the opportunity for another excellent exchangea covering "bilateral relations, including in the area of migration".

"Also discussed global consequences of Russiaa's unprecedented aggression against Ukraine," he added.

Jaishankar also met with Libya's Foreign Minister Najla Elmangoush and tweeted" "Appreciated her perspectives on the evolving situation in Libya".

Earlier on Tuesday, his second day of diplomacy on the sidelines of the General Assembly, Jaishankar held high-level meetings with Presidents Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Azali Assoumani of the Comoros.

Jaishankar tweeted that he and Akufo-Addo "discussed our ongoing cooperation in the UN Security Council, especially on counterterrorism. Appreciated the achievements of our development partnership".

India has close developmental relations with Ghana and supports several projects there in infrastructure, education and technology.

Jaishankar tweeted that Assoumani appreciated "India's outreach in combating Covid-19 and dengue".

He added that they "discussed taking forward our development partnership and working together on maritime security".

Jaishankar also met with Nicaragua's Foreign Minister Denis Moncada and tweeted: "Interesting discussion on the global situation and its multilateral implications."

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