Trump says 'reasonably decent' news coming in from Pakistan, India

Published February 28, 2019
President Donald Trump accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, speaks at a news conference in Hanoi on Thursday. — AP
President Donald Trump accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, speaks at a news conference in Hanoi on Thursday. — AP

US President Donald Trump on Thursday said that there is "reasonably decent" news coming from India and Pakistan.

"We have I think reasonably attractive news from Pakistan and India," said Trump at a news conference in Vietnam after a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"They have been going at it. We were involved in trying to have them stop. We have some reasonably decent news. I think hopefully that [conflict] is going to be coming to an end. It's been going on for a long time."

On Wednesday, the US and rest of the international community urged Pakistan and India to exercise restraint and refrain from escalating tensions. The statements came hours after Pakistan carried out air strikes and shot down two Indian jets, a day after Indian warplanes violated the Line of Control.

US wants Pakistan and India to de-escalate tensions, avoid further military action

The Pentagon has said Acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan is focused on de-escalating tensions between India and Pakistan and has urged them both to avoid further military action, a report carried by Reuters said.

However, the Pentagon did not say if Shanahan had spoken with his counterparts from either country.

A Pentagon statement said Shanahan had spoken with senior American military officials about the situation.

"Acting Secretary Shanahan's focus is on de-escalating tensions and urging both of the nations to avoid further military action," the statement added.

UK concerned about rising tensions

Urging restraint on both sides, British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday said the United Kingdom was deeply concerned about rising tensions between India and Pakistan.

"The UK is deeply concerned about rising tensions between India and Pakistan and urgently calls for restraint on both sides to avoid further escalation," Reuters quoted May as saying in the British parliament.

She said the UK was in contact with both countries and was urging dialogue and diplomatic solutions to ensure regional stability.

"We are working closely with international partners including through the UN Security Council to de-escalate tensions."

Iran urges restraint, offers to mediate

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke on Wednesday on phone with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and offered mediation between India and Pakistan, Reuters reported.

Zarif urged both countries to practice restraint, the semi-official news agency ISNA reported. ISNA said Zarif is going to speak to his Indian counterpart as well, but did not specify any date.

EU's Mogherini urges 'utmost restraint'

European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini called on India and Pakistan to show the “utmost restraint” in their worsening confrontation as fears grow of all-out conflict between the nuclear-armed rivals, AFP reported.

“This has the potential to lead to serious and dangerous consequences for the two countries and the wider region. We expect both countries to now exercise utmost restraint and avoid any further escalation of the situation,” European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said.

Germany calls for dialogue

Germany has also called for dialogue between India and Pakistan.

A spokeswoman for Germany's foreign ministry said on Wednesday that Berlin was watching developments in South Asia “with great concern”.

Spokeswoman Maria Adebahr told reporters both sides have a responsibility to prevent an escalation.



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