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Moscow ready to mediate as India & Pakistan caught up in fresh escalation

Moscow ready to mediate as India & Pakistan caught up in fresh escalation
Moscow would be ready to host negotiations between New Delhi and Islamabad, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said as tensions flare in the contested region of Kashmir.

The top diplomat made it clear that the Kremlin will not hesitate to help ease hostilities between the perennial rivals amid the latest escalation.

“If they [India and Pakistan] wish to, then certainly yes,” Russian FM said, after being asked whether Russia is ready to provide a place for talks.

Lavrov’s words were elaborated by Russian FM spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who said the standoff involving two nuclear-armed nations needs a political and diplomatical solution. The Russian FM representative also urged both parties to show restraint.

India launched an air raid on the Pakistani-controlled territory on Tuesday. New Delhi said the strikes targeted a terrorist camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed militant group, which claimed responsibility for the February 14 suicide bombings that killed over 40 Indian police officers.

On Wednesday, Pakistan claimed to have downed two Indian warplanes over the contested Kashmir region. New Delhi acknowledged the loss of one fighter but said they also shot down a Pakistani aircraft.

The latest tit-for-tat skirmishes between Islamabad and New Delhi raised fears of a full-fledged military conflict in the region. Turkey and Iran have already volunteered to mediate between the two arch-rivals in southern Asia.

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