Kashmir, Afghanistan in focus as PM Imran, Trump meet on sidelines of Davos summit

Updated 22 Jan 2020

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Prime Minister Imran Khan meets US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum summit in Davos on Tuesday. — DawnNewsTV
Prime Minister Imran Khan meets US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum summit in Davos on Tuesday. — DawnNewsTV

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday reiterated his long-standing offer to mediate the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India, during a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum assembly in Davos, Switzerland.

The summit is taking place from January 21 to January 24.

Trump's offer came during a pre-meeting press briefing featuring the two world leaders, where Trump also called Prime Minister Imran "his friend" and expressed his pleasure over meeting him once more.

The occasion marks the third time the two world leaders have met since the premier assumed office in July 2018.

"We're talking about Kashmir [...] if we can help, we certainly will be helping. We've been watching that and following it very, very closely," said Trump.

The premier, in turn, said: "Mr President, it is good to see you again. Yes, there are issues we want to talk about. The main issue is Afghanistan because it concerns the US and Pakistan.

"Fortunately we are on the same page. Both of us are interested in peace there and an orderly transition in Afghanistan with talks with Taliban and the government."

He said it is always hoped the US will take part in resolving the issue "because no other country can".

The US president avoided responding concretely to a question by a reporter whether he will "also visit Pakistan" when he makes a trip to India, instead saying, "Well, we are meeting right now. I wanted to say hello."

Trump said that from a relationship standpoint, the US and Pakistan "are getting along very well." "We have never been closer with Pakistan than we are right now."

The meeting comes against the backdrop of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's trip to the United States, where he met with his counterpart to defuse regional tensions.

The premier left for Davos early on Tuesday to attend the annual meeting. He is accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razaq Dawood, Special Assistant on National Security Mooed Yusuf and Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, while Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Ambassador at large for Investments Ali Jehangir Siddiqui will join the delegation in Davos.

In Davos, the prime minister will deliver a keynote address at the WEF special session and also interact with corporate leaders at the Pakistan Strategy Dialogue.

On the sidelines, Prime Minister Imran will hold bilateral meetings with several world leaders.

The premier will also hold meetings with a number of corporate, technology, finance and business representatives of international financial institutions, Radio Pakistan added.

In addition, he will address senior international media persons and editors during a session with WEF’s International Media Council, say official sources.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the forum where political leaders, business executives, heads of international organisations and civil society representatives will "deliberate on contemporary economic, geopolitical, social and environmental issues."