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Any talk on Kashmir only with Pakistan: India tells US

S Jaishankar File 220190802165416_l

Bangkok, Aug 2 (IANS) India has rejected the US’ offer of mediation on Kashmir, with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar conveying to his American counterpart Mike Pompeo in "clear terms" that any discussion on Kashmir, if warranted, will only be with Pakistan and only bilaterally.

Hours after US President Donald Trump told reporters in Washington that "it is up to Prime Minister Modi" to accept his offer to intervene in Kashmir, Jaishankar, during his meeting with Pompeo on Friday, conveyed "in clear terms that any discussion on Kashmir, if at all warranted, will only be with Pakistan and only bilaterally".

Jaishankar tweeted that he had wide ranging discussions with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and had conveyed to him India’s stand on Kashmir.

"Wide ranging discussions with @SecPompeo on regional issues. 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," said the tweet.

Asked by a reporter in the White House on Thursday if he considered Kashmir a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, Trump, ignoring the question, said: "Have they accepted the offer or not (to mediate). Well, it is really up to Prime Minister Modi."

The US President added: "I met with Prime Minister Khan. I think they are fantastic people, Khan and Modi. I would imagine they can get along really well.A But if they wanted somebody to intervene, or to help them; And I spoke with Pakistan about that, and I spoke frankly to India about that; but that been going, that battle, for a long time. If I can, if they wanted to, I would certainly help them,"

Pompeo, during his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Washington on July 23, had not mentioned Kashmir at all in the talks. His meeting had come a day after Trump claimed, during a media conference with Khan, that Modi had during their meeting in Osaka, Japan, requested him to mediate in the matter. India has very strongly denied the claim, and stated that Kashmir is a bilateral matter.

The US State Department, had in an effort to amend matters, issued a statement on July 22 stating that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, and added that the US stands ready to help.

 

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