New United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres does not “lack interest” in resolving the Kashmir issue but has not been able to speak with leaders of India and Pakistan since he assumed office as the world body’s chief this month, the UN spokesperson said. UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric rejected the assertion when asked during the daily press briefing yesterday that “no efforts” are being made by the former Portuguese Prime Minister to resolve the Kashmir issue while he has taken much interest in the resolution of the situation in Cyprus.
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Dujarric said that while Guterres, who took charge on January 1, has had a number of contacts with government leaders around the world, he has not been able yet to speak to every leader that he would like to speak to.
“The fact that he’s not had a phone conversation with the Prime Minister of India nor the Prime Minister of Pakistan, to my knowledge, in no way signifies a lack of interest in solving the issue around Kashmir nor many of the other issues that we see around the world,” Dujarric said, adding that the new UN chief should be given a bit of time.
Last week too, Dujarric was asked at the press briefing if the new Secretary-General would talk to Indian authorities about tensions at the border with Pakistan.
The spokesperson had replied he doesn’t have “anything new to add to our well-worn and well-stated policy” on the issue of Kashmir.
The previous Secretary General Ban Ki moon had stressed during his tenure that India and Pakistan should resolve their differences peacefully and through dialogue.
Ban had consistently said that his good offices are available to India and Pakistan only if “accepted by both sides”.