Srinagar: United Nations General Assembly president-elect Volkan Bozkir on Monday said that he was ready to help Pakistan and India ‘within his mandate’ to resolve differences on Kashmir issue if requested by both the nations.
The Turkish diplomat arrived in Islamabad on Sunday on a two-day visit at the invitation of the government of Pakistan.
Addressing a joint news conference with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Bozkir said that the resolution of the Kashmir issue was vital for sustainable peace in South Asia, and offered his help as per his mandate.
“If my assistance is requested by the parties, I will be ready to provide contributions within my mandate,” he said.
He also said that regional security should be maintained through political and diplomatic means and all issues should be resolved ‘peacefully’.
Asked about an improved role for the UN Military Observers Mission, which has been supervising the cease-fire between India and Pakistan since 1949, Bozkir said he would consult with the Secretary General and other UN officials once he takes office.
“Turkey’s stand on Kashmir is well-known to the world. It has been explained time and again,” he said.
“As a Turkish citizen, my hands are big for Pakistan, but as a UNGA president, I have to follow certain procedures and maintain impartiality,” he added.
One of the main objectives of his visit, he said, is to understand the latest situation in disputed Jammu and Kashmir, so that “when the issue comes” to the General Assembly, it can be discussed accordingly.
Bozkir comments came after he held detailed talks with Qureshi and Prime Minister Imran Khan on Kashmir and other issues.
Talking about his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Bozkir called him “a well-known political figure in the world” who has a vision for the region and the world.
Khan during his meeting with Bozkir said the UN should play its role in addressing the situation in Kashmir.
Bozkir, the first-ever Turkish national to be elected as the president of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, is set to take the charge on September 15 later this year. He was originally scheduled to visit Pakistan on July 26. But he later announced in a tweet that the visit would have to wait.
“I am hoping to visit Pakistan in the near future and looking forward to a fruitful exchange with the Pakistani authorities, regarding the issues & priorities on the United Nations 75th General Assembly agenda,” he said.
With inputs from agencies
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