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Emmanuel Macron, PM Modi discussed Valley situation: French govt

President Emmanuel Macron raised the Kashmir issue during a phone conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying France continues to track developments in the region closely.

The matter came up last Friday, according to a statement from Elysee Palace, which added that the two leaders agreed to work together to ease tensions in West Asia by urging all parties to show restraint.

An Indian statement issued on Friday made no reference to the Kashmir issue. The development comes at a time when the European Union mission in New Delhi is holding discussions with the external affairs ministry on a visit to Kashmir by envoys of the EU states, including France.

“In the spirit of trust and frankness that characterises their relations, the French President and the Indian Prime Minister discussed the situation in the region of Kashmir, which France continues to follow closely,” the Palace statement said.

A group of 15 envoys and senior diplomats, including the ambassadors of the US, Norway and South Korea, visited Kashmir last week — the first such trip organised by the Indian government. The external affairs ministry said more visits will be organised as the situation in Kashmir progressively normalises. People familiar with developments said dates are yet to be fixed for a visit by EU envoys.

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