Chantilly (France) (AFP)
France "will remain attentive to the interests and rights of civilian populations" are "duly taken into account" in Kashmir, said Thursday President Emmanuel Macron.
After a meeting in Chantilly Castle with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has just revoked the constitutional autonomy of Indian Kashmir, which is populated mainly by Muslims, the French head of state declared that " France will remain attentive to ensuring that the interests and rights of the civilian population are duly taken into account in the territories on both sides of the line of control. "
"I recalled that it was up to India and Pakistan to resolve their dispute bilaterally," he added. "It is the responsibility of both parties to avoid any degradation on the ground likely to lead to escalation".
"Prime Minister Modi told me of the changes he had made, which were fully sovereign in terms of legal aspects, and of his firm commitment to maintaining stability in the region and actively escalation and any resurgence of terrorist activity, "Macron said.
He added that he would have "in the coming days an exchange in this direction with the Prime Minister of Pakistan to remind him of the willingness of France to see this issue dealt with bilaterally," he concluded.
Pakistan and India have fought three wars since their partition in 1947, two of them in Kashmir.
The French president has invited Modi to participate in two key sessions of the G7 Biarritz summit, which opens Saturday.
© 2019 AFP