Modi, Trump to meet today; will discuss Kashmir and trade
US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet on Monday in France on the sidelines of the G7 Summit and are likely to discuss trade as well as the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir. PM Modi reached Biarritz, a French town, on the invitation of the country's President Emmanuel Macron. He is expected to meet several global leaders.
Though India is not a part of G7 grouping (which includes UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the US), PM Modi was graciously invited by Macron. The BJP leader is expected to talk on environment, climate and digital transformation at the Summit. On reaching the French town from Bahrain, PM Modi held his first bilateral meeting with his UK counterpart Boris Johnson.
Further, US officials in the know said Kashmir situation is likely to come up during the discussion. Though Washington agrees that rescinding Article 370 is India's internal matter, "restrictions" will be talked about, reports said. "President Trump will likely want to hear how Prime Minister Modi intends to calm regional tensions in light of this significant move," a US official said last week.
The official also said Trump is likely to stress on the importance of dialog among parties involved in the conflict. He hopes India would lift restrictions and exercise restraint when dealing with "potential protests". "President Trump is also calling on Pakistan to prevent the infiltration of militants across the Line of Control that divides Kashmir," the official went on.
This will be the first meeting between Trump and PM Modi after the former offered to "mediate" in the Kashmir issue. Offering intervention for the third time, Trump said last week India and Pakistan haven't been getting along for years, and Kashmir issue has a lot to do with "religion". He made the remarks after speaking to both PM Modi and Pakistan's PM Imran Khan.
On August 16, before the United Nations Security Council met "behind doors" to discuss Kashmir, India sensed that the US isn't ready to support New Delhi, reports IE. Thereafter, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had a word with US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and informed that India will be "closely looking" at who stands where when UN members talk about Kashmir.
Subsequently, at UNSC meeting, France and US "teamed up" when the Chinese side made attempts to "bring the attention" of other members on Kashmir issue. In fact, US Defence Secretary Mark T Esper also told Home Minister Rajnath Singh that Kashmir was an internal matter of India. Notably, Pakistan has been looking towards the global community for help but failing at it.