Trump speaks on phone to both Khan and Modi on Kashmir

International Desk
20 August 2019, Tue
Published: 05:05

Trump speaks on phone to both Khan and Modi on Kashmir

US President Donald Trump talked to both Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday about the need to reduce tensions over Kashmir and avoid steps that might escalate the crisis.

Trump also tweeted that he 'good conversations' with both leaders.

"Spoke to my two good friends, Prime Minister Modi of India, and Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan, regarding Trade, Strategic Partnerships and, most importantly, for India and Pakistan to work towards reducing tensions in Kashmir," Trump said in his tweet. "A tough situation, but good conversations!"

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

Prime Minister Imran Khan has been regularly taking to Twitter to attack Modi, calling him a fascist and racist. He has also alleged that Modi was turning India into a Hindu supremacist country, and that Muslims in the country were being disenfranchised and "RSS goons were on the rampage".

During the call, the Indian leader also highlighted the importance of creating an environment free from terror and violence and eschewing cross-border terrorism without exception, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statment. Modi reiterated India's commitment to cooperate with anyone who followed this path, in fighting poverty, illiteracy and disease.

The conversation comes days after the UN Security Council backed India in its efforts to bring in development in Kashmir after revoking its special status.

According to a White House readout of the conversation, Trump spoke with Modi to discuss regional developments and the US-India strategic partnership. The President also conveyed the importance of reducing tensions between India and Pakistan and maintaining peace in the region.

The two leaders further discussed strengthening of US-India economic ties through increased trade, and looked forward to meeting again soon, the readout added.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday night said Trump made a call to Khan after his talk with Modi on the prevailing situation in Kashmir.

In a press briefing in Islamabad on Monday, Qureshi said that in response to Khan's call on August 16, Trump made a call to Narendra Modi and "expressed the desire in lowering tensions between Pakistan and India", Radio Pakistan reported.

A White House readout of the talk said: "President Trump spoke by telephone with 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 US-Pakistan economic and trade cooperation."

In his August 16 phone call to Trump, Imran Khan had voiced his concerns over India's "illegal" move in Kashmir, ahead of the UNSC closed-door discussion on Kashmir.

Imran Khan told Trump that New Delhi's moves on Kashmir posed a threat to regional peace. Trump conveyed to Khan the importance of India and Pakistan reducing tension through bilateral dialogue. (Gulf News)