France has said that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, asking them to resolve their differences over it through political dialogue and refrain from any step likely to aggravate tensions.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's remarks came as his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi called him on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Kashmir after India revoked the special status for the Jammu and Kashmir. Drian recalled France's constant position on Kashmir that it is up to the two countries, under the framework of their bilateral political dialogue, to resolve this dispute so as to establish lasting peace, the French Foreign Ministry said in statement on Tuesday.
France makes a call to the parties for restraint, de-escalation, and easing the situation. It is essential to abstain from any measure likely to aggravate tensions, it said. Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.
India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality. According to Pakistan's Foreign Office in Islamabad, Qureshi hoped that France, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, would play its due role to ensure peace and stability in the region.
"The two leaders agreed to remain in contact and continue to work together for peace and stability in the region," the FO said.
Qureshi made contact with French counterpart after reports in media that France was not supportive of Pakistan during UN Security Council meeting on Kashmir.