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India summons Turkish envoy over Erdogan's remarks on Kashmir


Updated February 18, 2020
India says Erdogan's remarks will have a bearing on bilateral trade. — AFP/FileIndia says Erdogan's remarks will have a bearing on bilateral trade. — AFP/File

India summoned the Turkish ambassador on Monday to lodge a diplomatic protest over President Tayyip Erdogan's remarks on occupied Kashmir and warned it would have a bearing on bilateral ties.

During a visit to Pakistan last week, Erdogan said the situation in occupied Kashmir was worsening because of sweeping changes New Delhi introduced in the Muslim-majority region and that Turkey stood in solidarity with the people of Kashmir.

India told Turkish envoy Sakir Ozkan Torunlar that Erdogan's comments lacked any understanding of the history of the Kashmir dispute, the Indian foreign ministry said.

“This recent episode is but one more example of a pattern of Turkey interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. India finds that completely unacceptable,” foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said.

He said that India had served a strong demarche, or formal diplomatic note.

India withdrew Kashmir's special status in August of last year and brought it under federal rule. Pakistan slammed the measure and other Muslim-majority countries such as Turkey and Malaysia joined in calls for India to reconsider its actions.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration has put curbs on palm oil imports from Malaysia in retaliation and officials have said it is planning to cut some imports from Turkey as well.

“These developments have strong implications for our bilateral relations,” the foreign ministry spokesman said, referring to Erdogan's comments.

Erdogan told Pakistan's parliament that the Kashmir problem cannot be solved through pressure but on the basis of justice and fairness.

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