Trump to keep off Kashmir

US President agrees to PM Modi's stand on resolving issues with Pak

Wednesday 28th August 2019 05:25 EDT

US President Doland Trump, during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of G-7 Summit, agreed that Kashmir is a "bilateral issue," but said that he was there should they need him. Addressing the media after his meeting with Modi, Trump said: “We spoke last night about Kashmir, Prime Minister really feels he has it under control. They speak with Pakistan and I’m sure that they will be able to do something that will be very good.”

PM Modi categorically rejected any scope for third party mediation between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, saying "we don't want to trouble any third country." He reiterated that all the issues between India and Pakistan are bilateral in nature. “There are many bilateral issues between India and Pakistan, and we don’t want to trouble any third country. We can discuss and resolve these issues bilaterally," Modi said when asked if Trump’s mediation offer was on the table.

This was the first official meeting between both the leaders after the revocation of Article 370 in J&K, a move that has been vehemently criticised by Pakistan. "India and Pakistan were together before 1947 and I'm confident that we can discuss our problems and solve them together," PM Modi said, adding the two nations should come together to fight poverty and for the well being of the people. "When I called Prime Minister Khan after the elections, I told him that Pakistan has to fight against poverty, India has to also fight against it. Pakistan has to fight against illiteracy and disease, and India has to also fight against them...I told him we should work together for the welfare of our people," Modi said.

On his part, Trump said “I have very good relationship with both the gentlemen (Modi and Khan) and I’m here. I think they can do it (resolve the issue) themselves," he added. This was the second meeting between PM Modi and President Trump this year. Earlier, the two leaders had met on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan. Trump, in the recent past, had offered mediation between India and Pakistan on Kashmir. He said “will do the best I can to mediate or do something” to defuse the crisis between India and Pakistan.

Modi attended the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France, after concluding his three-nation tour to France, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Although India is not a member of the G7 group, PM Modi was invited as a “special guest” by French President Emmanuel Macron. The countries that are part of the G7 include the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States.

Modi meets world leaders

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said that the invitation was a "reflection of the personal chemistry" between the two leaders and also "recognition of India as a major economic power". PM Modi arrived Biarritz on Sunday where the G7 Summit is taking place. PM Modi attended two sessions at the G7 Summit. The morning session on Biodiversity, Climate and Oceans and the afternoon session on Digital Transformation. He also held a number of bilateral meetings with other leaders on the sidelines of the summit.

Modi held "fruitful discussions" with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on a wide range of issues and discussed ways to strengthen efforts to mitigate the climate change. "Excellent meeting with the Secretary General of UN, Mr Antonio Guterres. We had extensive deliberations on key issues, most notably ways to strengthen the efforts to mitigate climate change," Modi said in a tweet. Their meeting came against the backdrop of a rare closed-door consultations on Kashmir by the United Nations Security Council after the Indian government revoked the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the state into two Union Territories.

The PM attended a gala dinner where he was greeted by French President Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron. At the dinner Modi also met other world leaders like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe among others. Modi addressed the G7 Summit on a session on 'Biodiversity, Oceans, Climate'. He spoke about how India is battling the menace of single-use plastic as well as how his government is taking steps to deal with the water crisis.

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