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'Turkey should not interfere in internal affairs': India rejects Erdogan's comments on Kashmir

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New Delhi, Feb 15: India on Saturday rejected "all references" to Jammu and Kashmir made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a joint declaration with Pakistan where he pledged his support for Islamabad's stand on the contentious issue.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kaumar said India rejects all references made by the Turkish President on Jammu and Kashmir, stating that the region is an integral and inalienable part of India.

Turkeys President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan pose for photos before a meeting, in Islamabad, Pakistan

"India rejects all references to Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral and inalienable part of India," Kumar said in reference to Erdogan's comments on Jammu and Kashmir.

"We call upon the Turkish leadership not to interfere in India's internal affairs and develop a proper understanding of the facts, including the grave threat posed by terrorism emanating from Pakistan to India and the region," he said.

In an address at Pakistan's Parliament on Friday, Erdogan compared "the struggle of Kashmiri people with that of fight by Turkish people against foreign domination during the World War I".

Voicing his country's support to Pakistan's stand on the Kashmir issue, he said it can be resolved not through conflict or oppression but on the basis of justice and fairness.

"Our Kashmiri brothers and sisters have suffered from inconveniences for decades and these sufferings have become graver due to unilateral steps taken in recent times," Erdogan said, apparently referring to India revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August last year.

"Today, the issue of Kashmir is as close to us as it is to you (Pakistanis).

"Such a solution (on the basis of justice and fairness) will serve the interests of all parties concerned. Turkey will continue to stand by justice, peace and dialogue in the resolution of the Kashmir issue," the president said.

In September last year, Erdogan raised the Kashmir issue during his address at the United Nations General Assembly.

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