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India-Pak tensions 'less heated' now, says Trump

September 10, 2019 09:45 IST

IMAGE: US President Donald Trump with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

The relationship between India and Pakistan is 'less heated' now than what was two weeks ago, United States President Donald Trump has said, reiterating his offer to help the two South-Asian neighbours only if both of them want.

The comments by Trump were his first and comes two weeks since his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G7 summit in France on August 26.

 

"India and Pakistan are having a conflict over Kashmir as you know. I think (it) is a little bit less heated right now than (what) was two weeks ago," Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday.

Tensions between the two neighbours escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status by scrapping provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution.

"I get along with both countries very well," Trump said while responding to a question on his assessment of the situation between India and Pakistan.

"I am willing to help them if they want. They know that. That (offer) is out there."

During a meeting with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in July, Trump had offered to mediate between the two countries on the issue of Kashmir.

India was quick to reject the offer, saying the Kashmir issue was bilateral.

It has also dismissed Trump's astonishing claim that Modi had asked him to mediate.

During his meeting with Modi in France last month, Trump had said Kashmir is an issue that needs to be resolved between India and Pakistan.

Trump says peace talks with Taliban are dead

Trump said the Afghanistan peace talks with the Taliban are 'dead', adding that the US had hit the group harder in the last four days than anytime in 10 years.

"They (talks with the Taliban) are dead. As far as I'm concerned, they're dead," Trump told reporters.

The President had stunned the world on Saturday when he announced the cancellation of a secret meeting with the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David near Washington.

It came after the Taliban claimed responsibility of an attack in Kabul last week, in which an American soldier were among the dead.

"They (the Taliban) thought that (they) had to kill people in order to put themselves in a little better negotiating position.... You can't do that with me," Trump said while responding to a question about his decision to cancel the talks.

"So, they dead as far as I'm concerned," he said.

"We have hit the Taliban harder in the last four days than they have been hit in over 10 years. So that's the way it is."

Trump said the decision to invite the Taliban to Camp David was his, and so was the call to cancel it.

Justifying the move, the President underlined that he did not want the meeting to happen under circumstances 'where they (Taliban) go around and try and make themselves a little bit more important by killing a soldier and also a total of 12 people'.

The Taliban, Trump said, did a mistake.

"We want to get out (of Afghanistan). But we'll get out at the right time," he said.

"We have been serving as policemen in Afghanistan, and that was not meant to be the job of our Great Soldiers, the finest on earth," Trump tweeted earlier.

"Over the last four days, we have been hitting our Enemy harder than at any time in the last ten years!"

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