US President Donald Trump Monday reiterated his offer of mediating in the Kashmir issue during his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Trump said he is “ready, willing and able” to mediate in the Kashmir issue “if both (India and Pakistan) want it.” “It is a complex issue. It is being going on for a long time. But if both want it, I will be ready to do it,” he told reporters during his bilateral meet with Khan.
“At any point of time, I would be an extremely good arbitrator,” he said.
#WATCH New York: United States President Donald Trump says, “He lives in a very friendly neighbourhood” when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan states that he looks forward to talk to Trump about Afghanistan, India and Iran. pic.twitter.com/e3UiZfxN1r
— ANI (@ANI) September 23, 2019
Trump’s meeting with Khan comes a day after he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a mega event in Houston, Texas organised to mark Modi’s visit to the United States. There, Trump had called Modi a ”loyal friend” and spoke on the strengthened ties between India and America.
He praised the ‘Howdy, Modi’ mega rally in presence of Khan and said he has heard a “very aggressive statement” by Prime Minister Modi. “It was very well received within the room,” Trump said, referring to the gathering of 50,000 people at the NRG stadium in Houston.
At the rally on Sunday, Modi hit out at Pakistan for its support to terrorism and said India’s decision to nullify Article 370 has caused trouble to those who cannot handle their country as he called for a “decisive battle” against terrorism.
Trump has repeatedly offered to mediate in the Kashmir issue. In July, this year, Trump, after meeting the Pakistan PM, claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also asked him to mediate on the matter. India has always maintained Kashmir to be an internal matter and has rejected any offer of mediation from third parties. A month later, on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in France, PM Modi made it clear that all issues with Pakistan are bilateral, and India doesn’t bother any other country about them.
Trump then said: “We spoke last night about Kashmir, the 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… I have a very good relationship with both the gentlemen (Modi and Khan) and I’m here. I think they can do it (resolve the issue) themselves.”
Khan is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 27, the same day PM Modi will also address the Assembly. His address is expected to centre around the Kashmir issue, for which he has been garnering support on his recent foreign visits.