India denies Trump ′mediator′ role in Kashmir conflict | News | DW | 23.07.2019
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India denies Trump 'mediator' role in Kashmir conflict

Indian officials have told angry opposition lawmakers that the government had not invited Donald Trump to mediate the conflict. A day before, the US president had made the offer, saying: "I would love to be a mediator."

The Indian government on Tuesday denied it had ever shifted its policy on the disputed region of Kashmir.

"The US president made certain remarks to the effect he was ready to mediate if requested by Indian and Pakistan," Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyan Jaishankar told furious opposition lawmakers in parliament.

A day earlier, US President Donald Trump suggested that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited him to mediate the decadeslong conflict between India and Pakistan.

"I categorically assure the house that no such request has been made by the prime minister — I repeat — no such request was made," Jaishankar said.

Read more: Pakistan shows off military might after Kashmir dispute with India 

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyan Jaishankar gestures

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyan Jaishankar was nearly drowned out by opposition lawmakers

Trump: 'Anything to help'

Earlier this week, Trump hosted Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has sought international assistance to resolve the deadly conflict.

"If I can help, I would love to be a mediator," Trump said while seated next to Khan. "If I can do anything to help, let me know."

But Trump's offer undermined decades of US foreign policy that only the conflict's parties should end the territorial dispute.

Read more: 'Pakistan needs to tackle extremism for its own sake' 

Clarifying US positions

Shortly after the press conference, the US State Department said that a sustainable solution to the conflict could only come from dialogue between India and Pakistan.

"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," the State Department said.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence from British colonial rule, two of which have centered on the disputed Kashmir region.

Read more: Will democracy take hold in Pakistan's restive tribal areas?

ls/amp (AFP, Reuters)

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