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Trump Backs Off on Kashmir Mediation, Says India & Pakistan Can Sort Issue Out Bilaterally

While addressing a joint press briefing with US President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India didn’t want to inconvenience others over the issue of Kashmir as it was bilateral in nature.

In what is likely to be a gentle but very firm statement of India’s position on Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing a joint press briefing with US President Donald Trump, said third-party mediation on Kashmir was not necessary.

Seated along with the US president and addressing the press, Modi said, “All issues between India and Pakistan are bilateral in nature. India doesn’t want to inconvenience any country on this issue.” He added, “I have firm faith that India and Pakistan, which were one before 1947, can discuss and resolve all issues.” Kashmir is an issue, like trade and Afghanistan, which is likely to be discussed between the two heads of the states on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in the French town of Biarritz.

Trump also expressed confidence in the position taken by Modi, when he said, “I think they can do it themselves, they’ve been doing it for a long time.” The US President had previously offered to mediate on the issue of Kashmir which he described as “explosive”. When asked by a journalist whether the offer (to negotiate between the two countries on the issue of Kashmir) was still on the table, Trump responded with a simple, “I’m here”.

“I have very good relationship with both gentlemen (Modi and Pakistan PM Imran Khan) and I’m here. I think they can do it themselves, they’ve been doing it for a long time.”

“Well we spoke last night about Kashmir and the Prime Minister feels he really has it under control. [When] They speak with Pakistan, I’m sure they will be able to do something very good,” he added.

Both Modi and Trump praised each other’s leadership and contribution made to each other’s respective countries. “We have discussed and we share common values of progress. There are many fields on which we can further contribute. We have discussed several topics in-depth. Both the economies of India’s and America’s are furthering each other. In several aspects we welcome US’ suggestions. We are together walking on a path of progress,” Modi said about long-standing multi-faceted relationship between India and America.

Trump began with acknowledging Modi’s “tremendous victory. He’s loved and respected in his country. We talked about trade, military…We had some great discussion, we were together last night, India is a fascinating place, beautiful place.”

On Sunday evening, Modi met UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. According to sources, the leaders discussed the post-Brexit situation and agreed to further strengthen the bilateral partnership. “They discussed the environment and agreed on the importance of tackling plastic pollution. The Prime Minister [Boris Johnson] thanked Prime Minister Modi for his leadership on the critical issue of climate change. They committed to continue our existing close cooperation on foreign policy and security issues,” said a highly placed source.

Meanwhile Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is also attending the G7 summit in France, is going to address his country on the “issue of Kashmir”, his special assistant, Firdous Ashiq Awan, announced on Twitter.

On Monday, Jammu and Kashmir entered the 22nd day of lockdown since Article 370 of the Constitution was abrogated by Parliament. The UN Security Council recently held a closed-door meeting on the issue of Kashmir.