New Delhi, October 12: The Kashmir issue was not raised or discussed during the second informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.
“This (Kashmir) issue was not raised and not discussed. Our position is anyway very clear that this is an internal matter of India,” Gokhale said at a special press briefing following the culmination of the two-day summit.
Xi, however, apprised Modi of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Beijing earlier in the Gokhale added.
The summit was held amid the strain in the bilateral relationship because of China’s strong support to Pakistan on the Kashmir issue over the past few weeks. India had also taken exception to references concerning Kashmir following talks between Xi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan ahead of the Chinese President’s visit to India for the informal meet.
Modi and Xi said “that radicalization was a matter of concern to both, and that both would work together to see that radicalization and terrorism did not affect the fabric of our multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious societies”, Gokhale told reporters.
Earlier, Prime Minister Modi said that the summit would launch a “new era” between the two countries. Modi and Xi strolled along a pristine Bay of Bengal beach and held one-on-one talks overlooking the ocean before their delegations sat down to official negotiations.
Xi called the visit a memorable one where he held ‘heart to heart’ talks. “You and I had engaged in candid conversations like friends, heart to heart discussions on bilateral relations,” he said. The Chinese president added, “We are really overwhelmed by your hospitality. Me and my colleagues have felt that very strongly. This will be a memorable experience for me and us.”
The talks between the two delegations were preceded by a one-on-one meeting between the two leaders at the Fisherman’s Cove, a luxury beachside resort overlooking the Bay of Bengal. Modi received Xi when he drove in a motorcade from his hotel in Chennai to the Fisherman’s Cove. They then drove in golf carts to the venue of their discussions, located a short distance from the beach. (Courtesy: HT)