India denies Modi asked Trump to mediate Kashmir dispute

Updated July 23, 2019

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India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends a meeting with US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo during the G20 Osaka Summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019. — AFP/File
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends a meeting with US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo during the G20 Osaka Summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019. — AFP/File

India's foreign ministry on Monday denied United States President Donald Trump had been asked by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to mediate the Kashmir conflict with Pakistan.

Trump made the claim while speaking from the Oval Office where he was hosting Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“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 Modi to the US President,” said Raveesh Kumar, official spokesman of India's Ministry of External Affairs.

"It has been India's consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally."

Earlier, during the talk at the White House, Prime Minister Imran said that the US, being the most powerful country in the world, could play the most important role in bringing peace to the subcontinent.

"There are over a billion and quarter people in the subcontinent, they are held hostage to the issue of Kashmir, and I feel that only the most powerful state, headed by President Trump, can bring the two countries together."

In response, Trump said that India had also asked him to mediate.

"I was with Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi two weeks ago. We talked about the subject and he actually said, 'Would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?'. I said where, he said Kashmir, because it has been going on for many, many years.

"I was surprised to know how long it has been going on. I think they would like to see it resolved, you [Pakistan] would like to see it resolve [...] and if I can help, I would love to become a mediator," said Trump.

Following the rebuttal from India, the US State Department shared a statement by Acting Assistant Secretary Alice Wells: "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."