Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on Assembly Elections in Jammu and Kashmir

Subject: Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on Assembly Elections in Jammu and Kashmir

Policy area: General Affairs and External Relations

News item: CFSP statements

The European Union welcomes the completion of Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. We call on all parties to respect the results of the elections.

The European Union appreciates that many candidates and voters used their democratic right to elect local representatives despite terrorist violence and intimidation. The EU strongly condemns the many violent incidents, which led to the tragic loss of a large number of lives.

No EU Election Observation took place, though a number of EU diplomatic staff based in New Delhi followed the process with the assistance of the Government of India. Taking into account their personal impressions, the EU welcomes the strenuous efforts of the Indian Election Commission in promoting free and fair elections. We encourage the Indian Government to follow through on its commitment to fully investigate any reports of irregularities.

The EU hopes that the elections will be a starting point for a forward-looking and inclusive dialogue with Kashmiri stakeholders. The EU also hopes that the future developments will lead to improvements to the governance and human rights situation in Kashmir.

The European Union calls on India and Pakistan to resume as soon as possible a diplomatic dialogue on all issues that divide them, including Kashmir. A lasting settlement to the Kashmir issue can only be achieved through an inclusive dialogue, involving the Kashmiri people.

The European Union stands ready to work with India and Pakistan and with others in the international community in order to defuse the continuing crisis between India and Pakistan and to encourage efforts to settle their differences through bilateral dialogue.

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