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'Will do the best I can': Trump offers to mediate Kashmir issue

August 21, 2019 08:08 IST

United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he would discuss the tense situation in Kashmir with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when they meet at the G7 Summit in France during this weekend.

"I will be with Prime Minister Modi… I'll be with him over the weekend in France. I think, we are helping (resolve the tense) situation (between India and Pakistan),” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office of the White House.

 

The development came a day after Trump spoke separately to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan in his bid to ease fresh Indo-Pak tensions after India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories, evoking strong reactions from Pakistan.

India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.

Trump said that there are "tremendous problems" between the two countries and offered to do the best, including mediate or anything.

"I will do the best I can to mediate or do something. (I have) great relationship with both of them, but they (India and Pakistan) are not exactly friends at this moment," Trump said.

New Delhi has made it clear to the US that Kashmir was a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and there was no role for a third party.

"Frankly, it's a very explosive situation. I spoke to Prime Minister Khan yesterday also with Prime Minister Modi. They're both friends of mine. They're great people. They're great people, and they love their country," Trump said.

Trump said the tensed situation also has a lot to do with religion.

"It's a complicated situation. A lot has to do with religion. Religion is a complicated subject," he said.

Trump said that the subcontinent is having “these talks for hundreds (sic) of years, even under different names,” he said responding to a question on Kashmir, which he said is a very complicated place.

“You have the Hindus. And you have the Muslims. I wouldn't say they get along so great. That's what you have right now,” he said adding that the two countries haven't got along for a long time.

Lalit K Jha
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