WION EXCLUSIVE: India, Pak should keep open channel for dialogue to solve the Kashmir issue, says President Erdogan
Calling for an early resolution of the Kashmir issue, the Turkish President said that 'extending conflicts, extending questions and carrying these questions to the future will be unfair to the future generations'. Photograph: (AFP)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaking exclusively to WION correspondent Ramesh Ramachandran on the Kashmir dispute involving India and Pakistan said he was "deeply saddened" and "upset" over the issue which has divided people in the Indian sub-continent.
The President declared that he wanted to see "an open channel for dialogue to bring India and Pakistan together which can be put into place by the Indian PM and Pak PM to solve the dispute forever".
"For the last seven decades, this question has not been settled. And I believe doing so will provide relief to both countries," Erdogan said.
Calling for an early resolution of the Kashmir issue, the Turkish President said that "extending conflicts, extending questions and carrying these questions to the future will be unfair to the future generations".
On Turkey being a member of Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), which has been critical of India on the issue of Kashmir, Erdogan said, "Pakistan consists of 100% Muslims and there is a very large Muslim population inside India. And as the OIC, we would never act against India, we would never release statements against India. This is not what we are running after. All we want to see is open the channel for dialogue in order to bring India and Pakistan closer to one another, in order to hopefully settle the dispute on Kashmir once and for all."
"I have heard PM Nawaz Sharif personally speaking about his will to settle this question with me once and for all. So if we keep the dialogue channels open, we can settle this question," he told WION.
The president hoped to strengthen "multilateral dialogue" to find a way forward to solve the contentious border issue.
The president also said that his country "can be involved" in the process, if required.
Catch the complete interview with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on WION Live TV at 8 pm (IST) Monday.