Trump says US ready to ‘help’ India, Pakistan on Kashmir

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US President Donald Trump said the United States was watching developments between India and Pakistan over Kashmir “very closely” and was prepared to help if necessary, but did not say how.

Speaking ahead of talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, Trump said trade and borders were both critical points for discussion, while Khan said that for him Afghanistan was the top priority.

“Trade is going to be of very, very paramount importance … and we’re working together on some borders, and we’re talking about Kashmir in relation to what is going on with Pakistan and India. And if we can help we certainly will be helping,” he said.

Trump told Khan, whom he referred to as “my friend” that he would speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the ongoing Kashmir issue. The US President is expected to visit India in the coming weeks, marking his first visit after taking up his post in the White House.

“What’s going on between Pakistan and India…if we can help, we certainly will be willing to. We have been watching it very closely and it’s an honour to be here with my friend,” Trump said.

“The Pakistan-India conflict is a very big issue for us in Pakistan and we expect the US to always play its part in deescalating the tensions, because no other country can,” Khan said.

India maintains that Kashmir is a bilateral issue and no third party has any role in it. Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue after India withdrew the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, but New Delhi has asserted the abrogation of Article 370 was its “internal matter.”

Khan is one of at least three leaders  Trump is scheduled to meet at Davos. The others include European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Iraqi President Barham Salih.

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