US Prez distances himself from mediation bids, says India, Pak can ‘work out something’ on Kashmir
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take care of radical Islamic terrorism originating from Pakistan. Trump made the remarks as he met Modi on the sidelines of the 74th session of United Nations General Assembly here.
When asked about the terrorism emanating from the Pakistani soil and Pakistan Army’s links to the militant groups in Kashmir, Trump said, “the Prime Minister (Modi) will take care of it.”
“You have a great PM, he will solve all problems,” Trump said, responding to another question from an Indian journalist.
Stressing on the need for dialogue between India and Pakistan, Trump said it will be great if Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan “work out something” on Kashmir, distancing himself from any mediation between the two neighbours.
“It will be great if they can work out something on Kashmir,” Trump said in response to a question, a day after he met Khan on Monday and once again offered to mediate between Pakistan and India on the Kashmir issue if both sides agree.
This was their fourth meeting. The two leaders earlier met on Sunday in Houston and shared the stage at ‘Howdy, Modi’ gala event where they displayed a close friendship and a common vision on fighting terrorism. They had addressed over 50,000 Indian-Americans in Houston.
Also, Trump said his country will soon have a trade deal with India to boost economic ties between the two nations.
“We are doing very well … I think very soon we will have a trade deal,” Trump told reporters when asked if there is any trade deal is expected in the talks between India and the US.
The two countries are negotiating a trade package to iron out issues and promote the two-way commerce.
During the press conference, Modi praised Trump as “a good friend of India” and expressed his happiness over the US President joining him at the “Howdy, Modi” rally.
“I am thankful to Trump that he came to Houston. He is my friend but he is also a good friend of India,” Modi said.
“They love this gentleman to my right. People went crazy, he is like an American version of Elvis,” Trump said, referring to the “Howdy, Modi” event.
President Trump thanked Prime Minister Modi for this gesture.
Modi presented to Trump a framed photograph from the mega ‘Howdy Modi’ event in Houston.
The photograph was presented as the two leaders met here on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.
“Memories from Houston, where history was made! PM @narendramodi presented a framed photograph from the #HowdyModi event to @POTUS @realDonaldTrump,” Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.
The photo shows both the leaders standing on the stage with thousands of Indian-Americans in the background.
Trump’s call for dialogue between India and Pakistan came after India has rejected mediation by any third country. Tension between India and Pakistan spiked after India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke the special status of Jammu & Kashmir.
India’s action evoked strong reactions from Pakistan which downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian Ambassador. Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue but India has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was its “internal matter”. New Delhi has also asked Islamabad to accept the reality and stop its anti-India rhetoric.
Wednesday, 25 September 2019 | PTI | New York
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