US President Donald Trump Tuesday refused to comment on the amended citizenship law that has triggered protests across India, but said he discussed religious freedom with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two-day visit here.
Addressing the press in New Delhi on the last day of his state visit, Trump said: “Don’t want to say anything on CAA. It is up to India, hope it will take the right decision for its people.”
When asked about the violence in areas in northeast Delhi, barely 20 kilometers from ITC Maurya, where Trump was speaking, the US President said he did not discuss that with the Prime Minister and that it is “up to India” to deal with this “individual situation”.
“We did talk about religious freedom. The Prime Minister said he wants people to have religious freedom. They have worked really hard on it. I heard about the individual attacks but I did not discuss it. It is up to India,” he said.
Replying to question on alleged discrimination against Muslims in the country, Trump added “PM Modi said they work very closely with Muslims.”
The death toll in the northeast Delhi violence climbed to 10 on Tuesday as violence continued unabated for the third day over the new citizenship law. Rival mobs, armed with sticks, rods and petrol bombs, torched vehicles, shops and homes.
Follow Delhi violence Live Updates
Two sides to every story: Trump on Kashmir
Calling the Kashmir issue a “thorn” in India-Pakistan relations, Trump reiterated his offer to mediate between the two countries. “If anything I can do to mediate, I will do,” he told reporters, however, clarifying that he hasn’t conveyed the offer personally to PM Modi.
“I didn’t say anything about that (being mediator). Kashmir obviously is a big problem between India and Pakistan, they are going to work out their problem. They have been doing it for a long time,” he said.
“Anything I can do to mediate or help, I would do. They (Pakistan) are working on Kashmir. Kashmir has been a thorn in lots of people’s sight for a long time. There are two sides to every story,” he said.
What’s on the menu? Here’s what the US President will be served at Rashtrapati Bhavan tonight
The US president said he also discussed at length the issue of terror activities emanating from Pakistan. “We talked a lot about it today. I said I will do whatever I can do to help as my relationship with both gentlemen (PM Modi and Pakistan PM) is so good…Anything I can do to mediate or help, I would d do. They (Pak) are working on Kashmir,” he said.
He also spoke on the Taliban peace deal, saying he had discussed it with PM Modi and that “India would also like for that to happen”.
US has to be treated fairly: Trump on trade deal with India
Trump has said that if the trade deal happens with India, it will be towards the end of the year. He emphasised that the US has to be “treated fairly”.
Claiming that India is “probably the highest tariff charging nation,” Trump cited the example of bike manufacturer Harley Davidson, saying the company has to pay “tremendous tariff when they have to sell in India.”
‘Modi a terrific leader’
Heaping praise on PM Modi, Trump called India a “tremendous country” and Modi a “terrific leader”. “We had a great time. We had great meetings..I think they like us more than they ever liked us. There is a great relationship between the Prime Minister and myself,” he said.
After holding bilateral talks earlier in the day, both countries inked three MoUs, including one in the energy sector. Thanking Modi and the people of India for the “exceptional generosity”, Trump said the visit has been “unforgettable, extraordinary and productive.”
Trump talks democrats, US elections, Weinstein
Trump said no country is trying to help him win the election, days after a top intelligence official told lawmakers that Russia was interfering in the 2020 presidential vote to help Trump win a second term. On the conviction of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein in sexual assault and rape cases, the US President called it a “great victory” for women that “sends a very strong message” for the #MeToo movement against that kind of behavior towards women.
He also repeated his call for two liberal-leaning Supreme Court justices to recuse themselves from cases involving him or his administration.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines