Will meet Modi in France, do best on Kashmir: Trump

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Will meet Modi in France, do best on Kashmir: Trump

Washington, Aug 21 (IANS) After speaking with the leaders of India and Pakistan and urging them to reduce tensions over Kashmir, US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he would be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the weekend at the G7 in France, and he would do his best to mediate in the issue.

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Addressing reporters in the White House, President Trump said: “Kashmir is a very complicated place. You have the Hindus, and you have the Muslims, and I wouldn’t say they get along so great. And that’s what you have right now.”

“And you have millions of people who want to be ruled by others, and maybe on both sides, and you have two countries that haven’t gotten along in a long time.

“And frankly it’s a very explosive situation. I spoke to Prime Minister Khan, and yesterday I spoke to PM Modi; and they are both friends of mine, and they are great people, they’re great people. And they love their countries, and they are in a very tough situation.

“Kashmir is a very tough situation, and this has been going on for decades, and decades; shooting, and I don’t mean shooting like shooting a rifle, but major shooting of howitzers, of heavy arms, and this has been going on for a long, long period of time.

“But I get along really well with both of them, As you know Prime Minister Khan was here just recently.

“And I’m going to meet Prime Minister Modi, I will be with PM Modi over the weekend, in France.

“And I think we’re helping the situation, but there’s tremendous problems between the two countries. And I will do the best I can to mediate or do something,” he said.

On Monday, Trump spoke on the phone with his “two good friends” Prime Ministers Narendra Modi of India and Pakistan’s Imran Khan and urged them to work towards reducing tensions over Kashmir. He also advised Pakistan to “moderate its rhetoric with India” over Kashmir.

“Spoke to my two good friends, Prime Minister Modi of India, and Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan, regarding Trade, Strategic Partnerships and, most importantly, for India and Pakistan to work towards reducing tensions in Kashmir. A tough situation, but good conversations!,” he tweeted.

Earlier, Trump first called up Modi on Monday during which they held a 30-minute talk.

Prime Minister Modi conveyed that “extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region was not conducive to peace”, in a reference to the Pakistani leadership spewing anti-India venom over the Kashmir issue.

A White House readout of his talk with Imran Khan said, “PresidentATrumpAspoke by telephone with Imran Khan to discuss the need to reduce tensions and moderate rhetoric with India over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Trump reaffirmed the need to avoid escalation of the situation, and urged restraint on both sides. The two leaders also agreed to work together to strengthen United States-Pakistan economic and trade cooperation.”

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