Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump, during their upcoming meeting Paris, France, on August 26, would discuss the issue of Kashmir. The leaders will hold discussions on the sidelines of the G-7 Summit in the country, where PM Modi has been invited as a chief guest. The meeting will be held in the wake of two recent statements by Trump to mediate talks between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. India, however, has maintained its long-held stance of bilateral talks with the neighbouring country, and that talks can't be held if Pakistan keep supporting terror groups. The two leaders are also likely to discuss wide-ranging issues of trade between India and the US.
Confirming the development that he would meet PM Modi during the G-7 Summit, Trump said he would do his best to "mediate" talks between India and Pakistan. "As you know, PM Khan was here just recently and I am going to be with PM Modi over the weekend in France. So, I think we are helping the situation but there is tremendous problems between those two countries, as you know, and I will do the best I can to mediate or do something," said Trump.
This is not the first time that Trump has proposed to act as a mediator for India-Pakistan talks.
During a meeting with Pakistan PM Imran Khan at the Oval Office in July, Trump told reporters that PM Modi sought his mediation in the Kashmir issue and that he was ready for it. In New Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs rejected Trump's claim that Modi ever asked for mediation on Kashmir, forcing US lawmakers to issue an apology on the matter. The Democratic-controlled House Foreign Affairs Committee also issued a fact check. "The Indians confirm they never asked Trump to mediate on Kashmir," the powerful Congressional committee had tweeted.
India has always maintained that abrogation Article 370 is an "internal" matter of India and the dispute over Kashmir is a "bilateral" issue.
During a telephonic conversation this week, both Modi and Trump talked about the security situation J&K after the revocation of Article 370 and also discussed trade and terrorism-related issues in Afghanistan.
"In the context of the regional situation, the Prime Minister stated that extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region was not conducive to peace. He highlighted the importance of creating an environment free from terror and violence and eschewing cross-border terrorism without exception", read an MEA statement.
Edited by Manoj Sharma