NEW DELHI: Foreign minister S. Jaishankar on Friday said he had conveyed to the US in clear terms that any talks to resolve the Kashmir dispute can only be held between India and Pakistan, and that he will not invite third-party mediation.
This came on a day US President Donald Trump seemed to issue a qualified offer to mediate between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir dispute, though he seemed to be stepping back from his earlier position that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate between the two countries.
Jaishankar’s meeting with US secretary of state Mike Pompeo took place on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Regional Forum, East Asia Summit and other meetings in Bangkok.
“Have conveyed to American counterpart @SecPompeo this morning in clear terms that any discussion on Kashmir, if at all warranted, will only be with Pakistan and only bilaterally,” Jaishankar said in a post on Twitter on the second meeting between the two. “Wide ranging discussions with @SecPompeo on regional issues,” Jaishankar said in another post, along with a picture of the two shaking hands in Bangkok.
comments follow last month’s controversy which erupted after Trump claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sought his mediation on the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan, something the Indian foreign ministry and the US state department later denied.
A US state department statement on Friday said: “The two discussed our shared commitment to upholding the rule of law, freedom of navigation, and democratic values in the Indo-Pacific region. The secretary reaffirmed the positive trajectory of the US-India strategic partnership.”
But Trump on Friday seemed to give the controversy a new lease of life. Answering a question from a reporter at the White House about his earlier offer to mediate on the Kashmir issue, Trump said: “If they wanted somebody to intervene and I spoke to Pakistan about that… I spoke frankly with India about it… if they wanted me to I would certainly intervene.”
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