Meetings On The Sidelines
With Turkey backing Pakistan’s aggressive stand on the Kashmir issue, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a three-way meeting on the sidelines of the recently concluded UN General Assembly in New York. Political analysts are of the opinion that PM Modi’s meetings with President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan are a tactical move that should be considered as a warning of sorts to Turkey.
It may be noted that Turkey considers Greece, Cyprus and Armenia as its regional rivals. Turkey had invaded Cyprus in 1974 and occupied the latter’s northern part which was proclaimed to be an independent entity – the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Turkey is also locked in a dispute with Greece over who should control the islets in Aegean Sea. Meanwhile, Armenia holds Turkey responsible for genocide of thousands of its citizens. Therefore, the Indian PM’s decision to meet leaders of the three countries is a calculative diplomatic move that has certainly infuriated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who has sided with Pakistan over the Kashmir issue.
Indian and Pakistani PMs at UNGA
During his meeting with President Anastasiades, the Indian Premier “reiterated India’s consistent support for the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of Republic of Cyprus”. According to sources close to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi’s position on Cyprus’ independence irked Turkey. The Indian Ministry openly declared that the three meetings were designed in such a way so that it could send a strong message to President Erdoğan about India’s stand that Kashmir is an internal matter. Speaking at the UNGA, Prime Minister Modi also attacked China, another Pakistan ally, over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, thus, making it clear that New Delhi would not accept any foreign interference in Kashmir.
In fact, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has admitted that the Global Community backs India’s decision to end the special status of northern Indian province of Jammu and Kashmir, saying that the world leaders consider India as a market of more than a billion people. So, according to Khan, the Global Community is not interested in helping the two South Asian neighbours resolve the Kashmir issue only because of economic interest. “A lot of leaders didn’t realise this. But I think even the ones who realise look upon India as a market for 1.2 (sic) billion people and trade and so on. And this is the sad thing, (valuing) material over the human,” stressed Khan. The Pak PM still believes that the International Community will move in and help India and Pakistan resolve the decades-old dispute. Khan insisted: “They will have to because this is going to become a flash point.”
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