India on Monday denied US President Donald Trump’s claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate in resolving the Kashmir issue with Pakistan.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said no such request has been made by PM Modi to the US president.
“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 to the US President,” Kumar said.
“It has been India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally. Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism. The Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India and Pakistan bilaterally.” Kumar added.
President Trump made the comments in a joint press briefing with visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House. He would love to be the “mediator” on the Kashmir issue and even claimed that he has received a request to do so from PM Modi during a recent meeting with him.
“If I can help, I would love to be a mediator. If I can do anything to help, let me know,” Trump said in response to a question.
“I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago and we talked about this subject (Kashmir). And he actually said, ‘would you like to be a mediator or?’ I said, ‘where?’ He said ‘Kashmir’,” Trump added.
The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar immediately put out a strong denial in a tweet, emphasizing that “no such request has been made” by Prime Minister Modi.
“We have seen @POTUS’s remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India & Pakistan, on Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by PM @narendramodito US President,” Raveesh Kumar said in a tweet.
The US had backed India’s stance, maintaining that Kashmir is a bilateral issue and should be solved between India and Pakistan.
US Congressman on Tuesday apologised to India’s US envoy for President Trump’s “embarrassing” remarks on Kashmir.
“Everyone who knows anything about foreign policy in South Asia knows that #India consistently opposes third-party mediation re #Kashmir. Everyone knows PM Modi would never suggest such a thing. Trump’s statement is amateurish and delusional. And embarrassing,” Brad Sherman tweeted
“I just apologized to Indian Ambassador Harsh Shringla for Trump’s amateurish and embarrassing mistake,” Brad Sherman added.