Saudi Arabia demands talks between Pakistan and India to address the Kashmir dispute.

Saudi Arabia has stressed the importance of dialogue between India and Pakistan in resolving “outstanding issues” like the Jammu and Kashmir issue, it said in a joint statement with Islamabad on Monday.

The long-standing J&K issue found a mention in the joint statement issued following a meeting between Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud and Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Riyadh. India has maintained that Jammu and Kashmir “was, is and will always” remain an integral part of the country.

“The two sides stressed the importance of dialogue between Pakistan and India to resolve the outstanding issues between the two countries, (especially the Jammu and Kashmir dispute) to ensure peace and stability in the region,” it said.

The statement also called for international efforts to halt Israeli military operations in Gaza, mitigate humanitarian impact and underscored the importance for the international community to pressurise Israel to cease hostilities, adhere to international law, and facilitate unhindered humanitarian aid access to Gaza.

“They discussed the need for advancing the peace process in accordance with relevant resolutions of the [United Nations] Security Council and the General Assembly as well as the Arab Peace Initiative aimed at finding a just and comprehensive solution for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” the statement said.

The ties between India and Pakistan, which had always been controversial, had deteriorated further following the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and the bifurcation of the state into two union territories in August 2019.

Festive offer
Earlier in 2022, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had said that he desires peaceful relations with India based on the principles of “equity, justice and mutual respect” and the resolution of the Kashmir issue.

“Pakistan desires peaceful ties with India, based on the principles of equity, justice and mutual respect. In this context, a just and peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people, was indispensable,” Sharif said.

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