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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 March 2019

Pakistan and India tensions: foreign leaders call for urgent restraint

Foreign ministries call for calm and dialogue after Pakistan downed two Indian jets on Wednesday

UK's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called for urgent restraint from India and Pakistan. Getty Images
UK's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called for urgent restraint from India and Pakistan. Getty Images

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called for urgent restraint on both sides as world governments voiced concerns over rising India-Pakistan tensions.

Pakistan said it shot down two Indian military aircraft on its side of disputed Kashmir on Wednesday and had captured a pilot in a dramatic escalation that has sparked fears of an all-out conflict between nuclear-armed neighbours.

In a video posted on Twitter, Britain's foreign secretary said neither side wants to see this escalate further and the situation will take a "really critical restraint in the coming days".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he spoke separately with the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan and urged them to avoid "further military activity".

"I expressed to both ministers that we encourage India andPakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost," Mr Pompeo said in a statement on Wednesday.

"I also encouraged both ministers to prioritise direct communication and avoid further military activity," he said.

Both China and the European Union have also called for restrain.

A spokeswoman for the German foreign office said Berlin is watching developments in South Asia "with great concern".

In Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu called on both countries to exercise "common sense and restraint".

Mr Cavusoglu said it is important that the dispute over Kashmir be resolved, adding that Turkey is ready to contribute to a solution.

Updated: February 27, 2019 05:39 PM

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