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Current situation in Kashmir not sustainable, needs to change for sure: Angela Merkel

She had told German media persons accompanying her that she would raise the matter with PM Modi on Friday evening, though she was aware of India’s position regarding Kashmir.

SNS | New Delhi |

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday evening that the current situation in Kashmir is “not sustainable” and needs to change for sure. She was addressing the German media ahead of her ”restricted meeting” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and after co-chairing the fifth Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) with him.

She had told German media persons accompanying her that she would raise the matter with PM Modi on Friday evening, though she was aware of India’s position regarding Kashmir.

“As the situation at this moment (in Kashmir) is not sustainable and not good, this has to change for sure,” Ms Merkel was quoted as having said by German sources.

Michaela Kuefner, the Chief Political Editor at DW, Germany’s international TV channel, tweeted that in a “modest pre-dinner criticism of the Kashmir clampdown, Merkel said that “the situation for the people there is unsustainable and not good”.

The comments by the German Chancellor come amidst concerns expressed by some foreign lawmakers, including from the US, over restrictions imposed by the government post abrogation of Article 370 to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in August.

Chancellor Merkel met PM Modi for a second round of talks at his official residence. Earlier in the day, Merkel and Modi held the Fifth Intergovernmental Consultations at Hyderabad House after which the two sides inked over 20 agreements.

PM Modi in his address said that India and Germany have agreed to focus on enhancing cooperation in areas of new and advanced technology, artificial intelligence, skills, education and cybersecurity. Both countries have also agreed to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation in combating terrorism and extremism.

The two countries have also agreed to explore cooperation in new areas like e-mobility, fuel cell technology, smart cities, inland waterways, coastal management, cleaning of rivers and climate change, he added.

The two leaders held a “restricted meeting” in the presence of select ministers and officials from both the sides. The Indian delegation included External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.