On easing Kashmir tensions, Trump wants to hear Modi's plans
During his meeting with India's PM Narendra Modi over the weekend in France, US President Donald Trump will want to know what he plans to do to ease tensions in Kashmir, which peaked after New Delhi revoked special status of the border state. Conveying this piece of information, a senior US official said Trump will also discuss trade and human rights. Here's more.
Notably, France is hosting the G7 Summit where global leaders will discuss the world economy, gender equality, climate change, and other pertinent matters. The venue of the Summit is Biarritz, a popular French seaside town. Apart from PM Modi, Trump is expected to have a dialog with Angela Merkel (Germany), Boris Johnson (UK), Emmanuel Macron (France), and Shinzo Abe (Japan).
Speaking on Trump's plans, an official said, "President Trump is very much looking forward to his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Modi where they will discuss strategic partnership and how they can cooperate more closely on issues like defense cooperation, counter-terrorism, and trade." He expects Trump and PM Modi to "build on" their dialog at Osaka and telephonic conversation which happened earlier this week.
"The President will likely want to hear from Prime Minister Modi on how he plans to reduce regional tensions and uphold respect for human rights in Kashmir, as part of India's role as the world's largest democracy," the official went on.
Further, the official said the US is watching the Kashmir situation closely and is batting for restraint. "What he (Trump) has indicated that he is ready to assist if both sides are interested in helping to reduce their tension. But we just know that India has not requested any formal mediation," the official added, dialing down Trump's offer for intervention.
The official also said India's decision to annul Article 370 was an "internal matter" but it has regional implications. "The President is likely to stress the need for dialog among all sides of the conflict and it is hoped that India will lift the communications and movement restrictions in Kashmir and exercise the utmost restraint in dealing with potential protests," he added.
To note, this will be the first meeting between Trump and PM Modi after the historic Kashmir decision was taken. Earlier this week, Trump spoke to both PM Modi and Pakistan's PM Imran Khan asking them to take steps to ease tensions. Offering mediation for the third time, Trump said Kashmir issue has a lot to do with religion and was complicated.