In a bid to contain the damage created by President Donald Trump’s claim to mediate in Kashmir issue, the US Acting Assistant Secretary Alice Wells clarified that the Trump administration welcomes India and Pakistan sitting down to resolve the issue and the “US stands ready to assist”.
Wells, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, acknowledged that Kashmir is a bilateral issue for both parties to discuss — echoing India’s consistent stand on the subject.
“While Kashmir is a bilateral issue for both parties to discuss, the Trump administration welcomes #Pakistan and #India sitting down and the United States stands ready to assist,” Wells tweeted.
Trump had on Monday, during a press conference with the visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, claimed that PM Modi had asked him to mediate in the dispute with Pakistan.
India immediately rejected the claims.
External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar clarified that no such request has been made by PM Modi to the US President, adding that it has been India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally.
Speaking to reporters before his meeting in the White House with Khan, Trump asserted that during his meeting with Modi in Osaka, “We talked about the subject, (and) he actually said, ‘Would you like to mediate or arbitrate?’ I said, ‘Where,?’ (and he said) ‘Kashmir’.”
Despite previously taking a stand against Islamabad-backed terrorism, Trump put himself in a neutral position equating India and Pakistan.