UNGA president-elect’s Pakistan visit put off

United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President-elect Volkan Bozkir has postponed his visit to Pakistan because of "technical flight problems”

Jul 27, 2020

United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President-elect Volkan Bozkir has postponed his visit to Pakistan because of "technical flight problems”.

Bozkir, a Turkish diplomat, was elected president of the 75th session of the UNGA last month and scheduled to arrive in Islamabad on Sunday.

He will now visit Pakistan after assuming his responsibilities at the UN, according to Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui.

“We had to postpone my visit to Pakistan, originally scheduled for 26-27 July, upon invitation by HE Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi, due to some technical flight problem,” the UNGA president-elect tweeted.

“I am hoping to visit Pakistan in the near future and looking forward to a fruitful exchange with the Pakistani authorities, regarding the issues and priorities on the United Nations 75th General Assembly agenda,” he added.

In response, Foreign Minister Qureshi said he was looking forward to welcoming the UNGA president to the country soon for a "constructive and fruitful" visit.

Addressing a news conference a day earlier, Qureshi said the UNGA president-elect would be briefed on the grave situation in Indian-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) during his visit to Pakistan.

Bozkır is the first Turkish national who has been elected the president of the UNGA. . He is currently the ruling Justice and Development Party lawmaker and head of the Turkish parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

He was elected from the Western European and Others Group, in compliance with the established principle of geographical rotation and General Assembly resolution 33/138 of 19 December 1978.

He will take over the presidency from the Tijjani Muhammad-Bande in September when the 75th Session will resume.

In the past, Bozkir has called for the Kashmir issue should be solved in light of legitimate demands of its people.
In 2017, Bozkir met Azad Jammu Kashmir Legislative Assembly Speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir and said Pakistan was not only a friendly country for Turkey, but a brotherly country as well.

“We want the issue to be resolved amicably, in light of legitimate demands of the Kashmiri people," he added.
When Bozkir was elected the UNGA president, the Kashmiri diaspora in the US had congratulated him saying that they trusted he would promote justice for Kashmiris during his tenure.

Addressing his remarks to Bozkir, Ghulam Nabi Fai, the secretary general of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, wrote: “If the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir had the freedom to express their sentiments, you would no doubt have heard their loud voice rejoicing at the fact that the distinguished representative of brother country – Turkey – is presiding this year over the parliament of nations.”

Citing the UN Charter and Security Council resolutions on Kashmir, Fai requested Bozkir to “exercise your good offices to mediate between Pakistan and India for promoting a solution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council.”

There are 20 UN resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir that include seeking a plebiscite in the disputed region to decide its political future.

Fai said the resolutions were “meticulously” negotiated between the parties -- India and Pakistan -- and accepted by each, adding: “They thus embody a solemn international agreement.”
“They were endorsed repeatedly by the Security Council and by successive United Nations representatives.”


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