After India rejects Trump's claim of Modi seeking Kashmir help, US in damage control mode
Washington/New Delhi, July 23 (IBNS): The United States came down to a damage control mode after India rejected US President Donald Trump's claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought help from the western country to resolve the ongoing Kashmir issue with Pakistan.
A tweet posted on the Twitter handle of the US Department of State reads, "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. - AGW"
India rejects Trump's claim
In response to query on President Trump’s remarks, India's Ministry of External Affairs' official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “We have seen President Trump's remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India and Pakistan, on the Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by Prime Minister to the US President."
"It has been India's consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally. Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism. The Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India and Pakistan bilaterally,” Kumar said.
What did Trump say?
Earlier reports said US President Donald Trump has offered to help resolve the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan during his meeting with Pakistan President Imran Khan in Washington.
Hosting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White house on Monday, Trump said: “If I can help, I would love to be a mediator.” “If I can do anything to help, let me know,” he added, according to reports.
"I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago and we talked about this subject and he actually said 'Would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator', I said 'Where', He said 'Kashmir'. Because this has been going on for many, many years... I think they would like to see it resolved and you (Imran Khan) would like to see it resolved. If I can help, I would love to be a mediator," President Trump said at the joint media briefing with Imran Khan.
The US has held for long that the Kashmir issue should be sorted by India and Pakistan bilaterally.
Trumps faces criticism from Congressman
US Congressman Brad Sherman termed Donald Trump's statement as "amateurish", "delusional" and "embarrassing".
He tweeted, "Everyone who knows anything about foreign policy in South Asia knows that #India consistently opposes third-party mediation re #Kashmir. Everyone knows PM Modi would never suggest such a thing. Trump’s statement is amateurish and delusional. And embarrassing."
Everyone who knows anything about foreign policy in South Asia knows that #India consistently opposes third-party mediation re #Kashmir. Everyone knows PM Modi would never suggest such a thing. Trump’s statement is amateurish and delusional. And embarrassing. 1/2— Rep. Brad Sherman (@BradSherman) July 22, 2019
Sherman also said: "I just apologized to Indian Ambassador @HarshShringla for Trump’s amateurish and embarrassing mistake."