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China requests UN Security Council to address Kashmir on August 15 or 16

Moscow does not object to holding such a meeting, but the matter should be discussed behind closed doors

UN, August 14. /TASS/. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China supported Pakistan’s call to address the situation surrounding the former state of Jammu and Kashmir, and requested consultations behind closed doors on Thursday or Friday, according to a copy of the request obtained by TASS on Wednesday.

"China request the Security Council to hold closed consultations under the agenda "India-Pakistan Question" in the afternoon of 15 Aug or the morning of 16 Aug and invite the DPPA and DPO to brief the Council," the document reads.

Earlier this week, Pakistan requested a UN Security Council meeting to discuss the fate of Jammu and Kashmir. The decision is to be made by Poland, which holds the council’s rotating presidency this month.

Moscow does not object to holding such a meeting, but the matter should be discussed behind closed doors, Russia’s acting UN envoy, Dmitry Polyansky, told reporters on Wednesday. He said the UN Security Council members need to coordinate their positions first, because the Jammu and Kashmir issue has not been on its agenda for quite a while.

On August 5, New Delhi announced that it was revoking Article 370 of the country’s constitution that granted a special status and a degree of autonomy to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and also breaking the state up into two union territories largely controlled by the central government. Pakistan strongly condemned the move.

Before the constitutional amendments, Jammu and Kashmir - the only Indian state where Muslims constitute a majority - had special autonomy. All bills in this state passed by the central government (except for those related to defense and foreign relations) had to be backed by a local assembly. Citizens of other Indian regions had no right to buy land in Kashmir. The state had its official flag.

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov highlighted in his phone conversation with Pakistani counterpart Mehmood Qureshi the importance of defusing tensions with India.