United Nations, Sep 24 (IANS) Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the Kashmir issue at the high-level General Assembly session on Tuesday, calling for a dialogue to resolve the problem on the "basis of justice and equality".
He said that the area is "besieged" with "8 million people stuck" there, but did not refer to the ending of Kashmir's special constitutional status under Article 370.
Erdogan, who is positioning himself as an alternative global Muslim leader to Saudi Arabia, is the first leader other than a Pakistani in recent memory to speak about Kashmir at the Assembly.
So far no other country has echoed Pakistan's constant refrain about Kashmir at the UNGA.
Erdogan appeared to support an independent Kashmir by talking of Kashmiri people having a future with "their Pakistani and Indian neighbours".
"In order for the Kashmiri people to look forward to a safe future with their Pakistani and Indian neighbours, it is imperative to solve this problem through dialogue on the basis of justice, and equality instead of conflict."
Kashmir has been an open issue for 72 years, he said.
"The stability and prosperity of South Asia cannot be separated from the Kashmir issue," he said.
"Despite the resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council, Kashmir is still besieged and 8 million people are still stuck in Kashmir. They cannot get out," Erdogan added.
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