Germany on Sunday said it has not changed its position on Kashmir and the "bilateral path" is the way forward to resolve the vexed issue, days after India rejected a call by the German and Pakistani foreign ministers for involving the United Nations for a solution to it.
German Ambassador to India Philipp Ackermann said that there is no new German policy on the Kashmir issue and Berlin has been sticking to what it always maintained on the matter.
India reacted sharply after German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and her Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at a joint press conference in Berlin on October 7 spoke about a possible role by the UN to resolve the Kashmir issue.
"Frankly, we were a little surprised by the harshness of the media. You know the media and social media were a bit harsh. We take note of it. So, apparently, the wording she used was the reason for misunderstandings," Ackermann said.
"But I want to make it clear that Germany has not changed its position on Kashmir. We stay with our very consistent position that bilateral talks, the bilateral path is the way forward and she said that also in the statement," he said.
The German envoy said his country stands by what it has been maintaining on the issue.
"I do not want to be too exegetical on the statement. But it is clear in the statement. Therefore, I hope to calm the way...There is no new German policy on this. Basically, we stick to what we always said in this context," he said.
India has always been maintaining that Kashmir is its bilateral issue with Pakistan and that there is no role for third parties.
"All serious and conscientious members of the global community have a role and responsibility to call out international terrorism, especially of a cross-border nature," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said while reacting to the comments by the Pakistani and German foreign ministers.
"The Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has borne the brunt of such a terrorist campaign for decades. This continues till now," he said.
On Saturday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held a telephonic conversation with Baerbock, covering a range of issues including the Ukraine conflict.
The call was initiated by the German foreign minister.