In separate bilateral meetings with the prime ministers of India and Pakistan, US President Donald Trump offered mediation or arbitration on the Kashmir issue. President Trump, who met Narendra Modi and Imran Khan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session, told reporters in New York Wednesday that he had “very productive conversations” with them and had asked them to “work it out”.
“With respect to Pakistan and India, we talked about Kashmir. Whatever help I can be, I said, I offered, whether it’s arbitration or mediation or whatever it has to be,” Trump said, reported news agency PTI. “You look at the two gentlemen heading those two countries, two good friends of mine. I said, fellows work it out, just work it out. Those are two nuclear countries, gotta work it out.”
Just In: US President Donald Trump @ press conference in New York: met both leaders of India, Pakistan. Offered mediation, arbitration. Asked them to work it out. @IndianExpress
— Shubhajit Roy (@ShubhajitRoy) September 25, 2019
Trump, who has offered to mediate at least thrice in the recent past, added that he will “do whatever he can, because, they are at very serious odds right now and hopefully that will get better”.
In response to the US President’s comments, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said India was “not shying away from talks with Pakistan”, but would do so only after “concrete steps” by the country. “And we do not find any effort by Pakistan taking those steps,” he reportedly said.
Trump met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, a day after he held a bilateral meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. This was Trump and Modi’s fourth meeting in the last four months.
Meanwhile, the White House in a statement Wednesday said Trump had “encouraged Prime Minister Modi to improve relations with Pakistan and fulfill his promise to better the lives of the Kashmiri people”.
(With inputs from PTI)
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines