The White House on Monday mentioned “helping reduce India-Pakistan tensions” among one of its five big takeaways from the G7 summit in France.
In its daily round-up for the day, the White House said: “A few of the biggest takeaways from the trip are: A message of unity, securing a billion-dollar trade deal, promoting the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, developing stronger trade with Europe and helping to reduce India-Pakistan tension.”
“In his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, President Trump reaffirmed the need for dialogue between India and Pakistan and also worked to build on the great economic relations between our nations,” the statement said.
However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday had again categorically rejected any possibility of a third party mediating in the Kashmir dispute. He had asserted that both India and Pakistan can resolve the matter bilaterally. United States President Donald also confirmed that Modi and he spoke about Kashmir. “...And the Prime Minister really feels that he has the situation under control,” he had said.
Donald Trump has recently twice offered to mediate in the Kashmir matter. Last week, Trump had said the Kashmir crisis “is a big deal”, adding that it was an “explosive situation”. He had first inserted himself into the dispute last month by claiming that Modi had asked him to mediate. India refuted the claims, but the Trump administration said the president stood firm on his statement.
The two leaders held a 40-minute discussion in Biarritz, the French town that hosted the meeting of the world’s most industrialised nations.
Their meeting came in the backdrop of continued restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir. The state has been under an unprecedented lockdown since August 5, when the central government decided to revoke its special status and split it into two union territories. Thousands of troops have been deployed to prevent violence and protests in the region and communication lines have been cut in most parts. The authorities have claimed that the restrictions would be eased gradually. However, protests in the Valley have made it difficult to do so.
New Delhi’s actions were immediately condemned by Islamabad, which downgraded diplomatic ties and suspended bilateral trade. Since then, Pakistan has attempted to raise the Kashmir matter at the United Nations Security Council, saying India’s decisions were a threat to regional and global peace.
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