US President Donald Trump said he discussed the Kashmir issue with the leaders of India and Pakistan during his meetings and offered to help with mediation to the two nuclear-armed countries, who have to work it out.
Addressing reporters on Wednesday, Trump said he has had “very productive conversations” with leaders of India and Pakistan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
“With respect to Pakistan and India, we talked about Kashmir. Whatever help I can be, I said, I offered, whether it’s arbitration or mediation or whatever it has to be.” He added he will “do whatever he can because they are at very serious odds right now and hopefully that will get better”.
“You look at the two gentlemen heading those two countries, two good friends of mine. I said, fellows work it out, just work it out. Those are two nuclear countries, gotta work it out,” Trump added.
Trump met Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a bilateral meeting on Tuesday on the sidelines of the UNGA for 40 minutes, and a day earlier he met Pakistan PM Imran Khan.
Trump and Modi’s meeting was their fourth since Modi came to power for a second term in May this year. Earlier, White House readout said Trump “encouraged” Modi to improve relations with Pakistan and fulfil his promise to better the lives of the Kashmiri people.
President Trump has repeatedly offered to mediate between India and Pakistan, an offer that New Delhi has firmly rejected every time, reasserting its stand that it is a bilateral issue that needs no third party intervention.
On Tuesday, the fourth offer at mediation came hours before he met PM Modi for bilateral talks in New York.
Trump said: “I think as far as Pakistan is concerned, India, they’re talking, I’m certainly willing to help. I think they would in a certain way like my help. But they’ve to both want it. They have very different views and I’m concerned about it.”
He said after he met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of UN General Assembly. The first offer of arbitration on Kashmir also came when he was addressing the media along with Imran Khan in July.