Donald Trump Kashmir remark: India seeks to move on

Ministry of External Affairs says that there are plenty of things on the plate to take the India-U.S. relations forward.

July 25, 2019 10:09 pm | Updated 10:09 pm IST - New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House on June 27, 2017.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House on June 27, 2017.

Officials of India and the United States have adequately presented their respective points of view and therefore it is time to move beyond the phase created by President Donald Trump’s comment on Kashmir, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.

Speaking at the weekly press meeting, MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar sought to put an end to the controversy that began after Mr. Trump, in a press conference with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, sought to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir.

Important ties

“India’s ties with the United States is extremely important. Our position on the matter has been explained in both houses of the Parliament by the External Affairs Minister.

The State Department has issued a statement saying that their position remains the same and there has been no change,” said Mr. Kumar recounting the clarifications that Indian and US officials made to contain the diplomatic incident.

The controversy lies in the fact that U.S. President had claimed that the request for American mediation had come from the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This version of the interaction on Kashmir goes against India’s traditional policy of avoiding third-party interference on Kashmir issue.

In his speeches in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar said that PM Modi had not urged President Trump to intervene in the Kashmir issue and India continues to adhere to ‘no third party intervention’ on bilateral India-Pakistan issues.

The official insisted that there are “plenty of things on the table” the India-U.S. ties and said, “It is an important relationship. We are very strong strategic partners and we have deep convergence in a range of issues. We are now going for hi-tech defence tie-ups.”

Mr. Trump’s claim on a Prime Ministerial request from India has put spotlight on Mr. Modi’s upcoming visits to multilateral summits where he is likely to interact with President Trump. The Indian leader is scheduled to visit Biarritz in France in August to participate in the events associated with the G7 summit. French President Emmanuel Macron had invited Mr. Modi to attend the summit after his re-election in May. The spokesperson confirmed that Mr. Modi will travel for the summit in France.

‘Episodic issues’

Sources said that the controversy associated with President Trump’s comments will not put a brake on the smooth flow of interaction between the leaders and officials of both sides. The spokesman referred to the relationship as “multifaceted” and “broad-based” that is not influenced by episodic issues.

Following President Trump’s comment on Kashmir, Larry Kudlow, Chief Economic Advisor in the Trump administration, said that the U.S. President “doesn’t make things up”, arguing that President Trump was indeed asked to intervene by PM Modi.

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