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Pakistan's letter on Kashmir: United Nations Security Council to hold closed-door talks today

A vote on the draft text presented by the Western trio could be held as early as Thursday. In photo: The Security Council held emergency talks following one of the worst chemical attacks in Syria. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Aug 16, 2019, 08.16 AM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

Following a request from China, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will hold closed-door talks on Kashmir on Friday.

All 15 members of the UNSC will be present when the issue is taken up.

China asked for informal closed-door consultations on Friday following Pakistan's letter to the UNSC in New York.

The informal consultations, scheduled at 10am local time (7.30pm IST), will see the exchange of views among the UNSC members on Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's letter to UNSC President & Polish envoy Joanna Wronecka on Kashmir in the aftermath of new Delhi's decision to remove special status to erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The UNSC will discuss how to react to Pakistan's letter, according to reports.

Pakistan had called for the letter to be circulated as quickly as possible and is reportedly keen on a meeting of the permanent members.

Equatorial Guinea, who is a non-permanent member of the UNSC has said that they have received no instructions on the way forward...

Poland---the current chair of the security council had however asked India and Pakistan to resolve the dispute bilaterally.

The Pakistan FM asked the letter to be disseminated at the earliest and that a meeting of UNSC should be called but so far no such call has been taken. Pakistan is keen to have a meeting in which it gets right to speak and record of discussion takes place.

The consultations will happen without India and Pakistan, both not being present and since it is a consultation process it will not be part of the UNSC record.

Meanwhile, Russia has said there is no information on any initiative on Pakistan's letter. Dmitry Polyanskiy, first deputy permanent representative of Russia to the UN said, "There is no direct information that there will be some meeting, no initiative to my knowledge".

"Russia will not object if it is a closed meeting since Kashmir issue has not been taken up at UNSC for long time. We need to compare notes and reload this file," he said.

When asked if Moscow is doing anything behind the scenes, Polyanskiy said, "Everybody is doing something behind the scenes because we are all worried including Moscow".