In New Delhi, Trump reiterates offer to mediate on Kashmir
US clinches $3 billion military equipment sale
No trade deal for India
NEW DELHI: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday reiterated his earlier offer to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, adding that his relationship with the leaders of both the countries is strong, reported NDTV.
The US president made the comments while addressing a press conference in the Indian capital on the last day of his two-day visit, and after holding meetings with the Modi administration. According to the report, Trump’s remarks were in response to a question on terrorism in Pakistan.
“We talked a lot about it at length today. No question it is a problem. They are working on it. I said I will do whatever I can do to help because my relationship with both gentlemen [Prime Minister Imran Khan and Indian PM Narendra Modi] is so good. Anything I can do to mediate, I would do,” he said.
“They [Pakistan] are working on Kashmir. Kashmir has been a thorn in lots of people’s sides for a long time. There are two sides to every story. We discussed terrorism at length today,” he added.
However, when pressed further by another reporter about India’s past rejection of his offers, the publication quoted Trump as saying: “I didn’t say anything about that [being a mediator]. Kashmir obviously is a big problem between India and Pakistan, they are going to work out their problem. They have been doing it for a long time.”
Trump has offered to mediate between the two countries on Kashmir on multiple occasions. Earlier this year, he reiterated the same during a meeting with Imran on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum assembly in Davos, Switzerland.
However, India has categorically rejected the offer to mediate, calling the issue an internal matter. Most recently, Indian Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “There is no role for any third party in the Kashmir issue. It is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.”
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that India will buy $3 billion worth of military equipment, including attack helicopters, as the two countries deepen defence and commercial ties in an attempt to balance the weight of China in the region.
“India and the United States were also making progress on a big trade deal,” Trump said in New Delhi.
Negotiators from the two sides have wrangled for months to narrow differences on farm goods, medical devices, digital trade and new tariffs.
On Tuesday, Trump sat down for one-on-one talks with Modi followed by delegation-level meetings to try and move forward on issues that have divided them, mainly the festering trade dispute.
After those meetings, Trump said his visit had been productive with the conclusion of deals to buy helicopters for the Indian military. India is buying 24 SeaHawk helicopters from Lockheed Martin equipped with Hellfire missiles worth $2.6 billion and also plans a follow-on order for six Apache helicopters. – Agencies