Putin expects India-Pakistan crisis to be settled shortly

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MOSCOW, February 28./TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, the Kremlin press service reports.

“Discussing a crisis situation that has emerged in relations between India and Pakistan, Putin expressed hope for its early settlement,” the report said.

“In addition to the earlier sent telegram, Vladimir Putin once again extended condolences to the Indian people in connection with a terrorist attack against Indian military on February 14,” the Kremlin press service said.

“With this in view, the leaders condemned international terrorism and any forms of its support, emphasizing a need to bolster uncompromising fight against the terrorist threat,” it said.

They also looked into topical issues on the bilateral agenda. The Russian president emphasized that Russian-Indian cooperation is developing rather successfully in line with special privileged strategic partnership. The sides confirmed their interest in deepening cooperation on all trajectories, including military-technical ties.

 

Putin invited Prime Minister Modi to take part in the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in September 2019 as the main guest. They agreed to continue contacts.

Tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad heightened after an Indian paramilitary convoy was attacked in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14, which claimed the lives of 45 people. The Jaish-e-Mohammed group, which aims at separating Kashmir from India and bringing it under Pakistan’s control, claimed responsibility for the February 14 attack.

Last Tuesday, India delivered an air strike against the camp of that grouping in the Pakistan-controlled part of the Kashmir region. On Wednesday, the Pakistani Air Force retaliated by an air strike on Indian military installations. Both India and Pakistan claimed they had shot down each other’s aircraft during the dogfight.

The situation in Jammu and Kashmir, India’s sole state with the predominantly Muslim population, has remained tense for many years. In the India-controlled part, secessionist militant groupings are active. New Delhi accuses Islamabad of supporting terrorists. Pakistan rejects these accusations.

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