Tuesday, January 4, 2011

EU calls for Kashmiri people’s involvement in resolving the Kashmir issue

European Commission is very closely following developments in Held Kashmir and supports the reconciliation process between India and Pakistan.This was stated by Jean-Christian Remond, Asia Head of European Commission External Relations Directorate General, in response to a letter from Mushtaq A. Jeelani, Executive Director, Toronto-based Peace and Justice Forum (PJF).The PJF’s letter drew EU President Jos Manuel Barroso’s attention to the situation in Kashmir.

Issuing response on behalf of President Barroso, Remond wrote:

“I am sure you [Mr. Jeelani] know that the European Commission and the Delegation of the European Union in New Delhi follow developments in Kashmir very closely.”

He further underlined: “The annual visits to Jammu and Kashmir by Delhi-based EU Ambassadors and embassy staff indeed bear witness to the commitment. During the last such visit in November 2009, the delegation had the opportunity to meet with representatives of political parties, separatist movements, the security forces, civil society, and the universities, in order to assess for itself the situation pertaining in Kashmir.”

“It has been a longstanding position of the EU to support the reconciliation process between India and Pakistan and to call for the Kashmiri people themselves to be as involved as possible in this process,” underscored Remond.

He further stated that he has taken note of Jeelani’s comment regarding a possible mediation by a third party. “But, in our view, such a course of action would require conditions which are not presently met,” Remond added.

“The European Commission remain hopeful that dialogue between all parties concerned including the people of Kashmir, India and Pakistan may begin again, thus assuring the long-term socio-economic and political stability of the region,” he concluded. 

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