Washington, DC – The United States on Tuesday (July 23) reiterated its readiness to assist in solving the decades old bone of contention between two nuclear powered South Asian neighbors.
In an email statement to IAT, a State Department spokesperson said, “While it 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.”
“We believe the foundation for any successful dialogue between India and Pakistan is based on Pakistan taking sustained and irreversible steps against militants and terrorists on its territory,” said the spokesperson, emphasizing, “These actions are in line with Prime Minister Khan’s stated commitments, and Pakistan’s international obligations.”
The US State Department Spokesperson said the US, “will continue to support efforts that reduce tensions and create an environment conducive for dialogue,” adding, “This first and foremost means tackling the menace of terrorism.”
“As the President indicated, we stand ready to assist,” said the US State Department Spokesperson, echoing the claims made by the US President Donald Trump in his meeting with the visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
During his bilateral meeting with Khan, President Trump cited an invitation from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help resolve India and Pakistan’s long-running conflict over the territory of Kashmir.
“If you would want me to mediate or arbitrate, I would be willing to do that,” Trump told Khan.
There was immediate reaction from the Indian side. Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar addressed both houses of the Indian Parliament – denying any such request from the Indian side. Earlier, Raveesh Kumar, the official Spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, had tweeted that “No such request has been made by PM Narendra Modi 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 & the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally.”
On Tuesday (July 23), a journalist in the White House asked Larry Kudlow, the Director of the National Economic Council, if President Trump lied on claim that Modi asked him to mediate on Kashmir. “The President doesn’t make things up,” Kudlow replied and called the question “very rude.”