Bangladesh backs India on Kashmir, says internal matter

Dhaka backs India on Kashmir, says internal matter

Dhaka, Aug 21: Bangladesh on Wednesday backed India on the Kashmir issue, saying that the abrogation of special status for Jammu and Kashmir is an internal issue of India.

As Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar concluded his three-day visit to Dhaka, the Bangladesh Foreign Affairs Ministry, in a statement, also called for regional peace and stability.

"Bangladesh maintains that the abrogation of Article 370 by the Indian government is an internal issue of India. Bangladesh has always advocated, as a matter of principle, that maintaining regional peace and stability as well as development should be a priority for all countries," the statement said.

Jaishankar on Tuesday handed over an invitation from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to visit India in October.

India on August 5 revoked special status for Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories - J&K and Ladakh - for better governance.

On Tuesday, newly-appointed US Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper told Defence Minister Rajnath Singh that Kashmir was an internal matter of India and that all India-Pakistan issues need to be settled bilaterally.

Rajnath Singh held a telephonic conversation with Esper on Tuesday to congratulate him on his appointment.

Dhaka backs India on Kashmir, says internal matter

Esper appreciated India's position that the recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir are an internal matter of the country. Rajnath Singh also raised the issue of cross-border terrorism and appreciated US support to maintain peace and stability in the region.

During the course of the conversation, Rajnath Singh invited US companies to invest in the Indian defence manufacturing sector under the Make in India programme.

The ministers discussed about bilateral defence cooperation and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen and deepen mutual relations.

They also exchanged views on issues including military-to-military cooperation, defence policy, research and development cooperation, defence trade, technology and industrial cooperation.

India and the US are scheduled to hold the first tri-service joint exercise later this year. Both Rajnath Singh and Esper expressed satisfaction over steps taken to operationalise agreements like the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement and the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement.

India and the US are also scheduled to hold the 2+2 dialogue, of Defence and Foreign Ministers, later this year in the US.

IANS

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