Pres. Rouhani urges diplomatic solution to Kashmir dispute

TEHRAN, Aug. 11 (MNA) – Iran calls on India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and stop the killing of innocent people in Kashmir, President Rouhani said during a telephone conversation with Pakistan's PM Imran Khan.

Speaking on Sunday with the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan by telephone, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and stop the killing of innocent people in Kashmir, adding, “There is no military solution to the Kashmir dispute. It rather needs to be settled through diplomatic means."

On August 5, India, through a presidential decree, revoked the special autonomy status of disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir to fully integrate its only Muslim-majority state with the rest of the country. The move has erupted protests all over Pakistan, while the Indian controlled Kashmir region is under lockdown. Pakistan and India both have a claim over Kashmir in its entirety and had three wars over the disputed territory.

Rouhani went on to add, “The Islamic Republic of Iran has always made efforts to reduce tensions and unrest in the region, and we believe that the Muslims of Kashmir must be able to use their legal rights and interests to be able to live in peace."

The Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said “regrettably, Kashmir is going through some upsetting incidents committed against innocent people, which are against international regulations."

Pakistan is deeply concerned about the escalation of tensions in the region, he said, adding, “As an important country in the region and the Muslim world, the Islamic Republic of Iran can play a positive role in the settlement of the Kashmir dispute."

The two sides then turned to bilateral relations, with President Rouhani congratulating the Pakistani nation and government on the advent of Eid al-Adha.

“Iran and Pakistan have always been on close and amicable terms, and we will continue this trend," Rouhani promised, adding "Iran is seeking to develop cooperation and relations with its neighboring countries, especially Pakistan, in different fields, including development of common border markets."

“Because of the unilateral and unjust sanctions of the United States, Iran is in special conditions, but it will do its best to ensure sustainable security of navigation in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman, as well as development of commercial and economic relations with its neighbors," Rouhani stressed.

Imran Khan also congratulated the Iranian nation and government on the advent of Eid al-Adha and described Iran-Pakistan relations as friendly and close, stressing the need for further development of relations between the two sides.

MNA/4690098

News Code 148753

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