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India draws red line on Kashmir again with U.S. as Jaishankar meets Pompeo

Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the sidelines of the 2019 ASEAN Summit in Thailand. Photo: Twitter/@DrSJaishankar

Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the sidelines of the 2019 ASEAN Summit in Thailand. Photo: Twitter/@DrSJaishankar  

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Any discussion on Kashmir, if at all warranted, will only be with Pakistan and only bilaterally, says the External Affairs Minister

India repeated its rejection of the U.S. offers to mediate on Kashmir when External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar met with U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) conference in Bangkok on Friday. This is the first time two senior officials from New Delhi and Washington have met since President Donald Trump brought up the offer during a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan that had led to an uproar in Parliament.

“Have conveyed to American counterpart [Secretary Pompeo] this morning in clear terms that any discussion on Kashmir, if at all warranted, will only be with Pakistan and only bilaterally,” Dr. Jaishankar tweeted, copying Mr. Pompeo on the tweet.

The EAM’s message followed another statement from Mr. Trump, who, while speaking to journalists in Washington on Thursday, once again made a reference to his offer of mediation between the two countries.

Kashmir issue: I would certainly intervene if they want, says Donald Trump
 

“It’s really up to Prime Minister Modi,” said Mr. Trump when asked about India’s rejection of the mediation offer. “I met with Prime Minister Khan; I got along great with — I think they’re a fantastic people, Khan and Modi. I mean, I would imagine they can get along very well. But if they wanted somebody to intervene or to help them — and I spoke with Pakistan about that, and I spoke, frankly, to India about it. But that’s been going on, that battle, for a long time,” he added, asserting that he “would certainly intervene” if both sides asked him to.

The U.S. President did not repeat his claim from last month that Mr. Modi had asked him to intervene in the matter, which India has denied.

Addressing Parliament on the issue, Mr. Jaishankar had ruled out any conversation had been held between the leaders on the issue and reminded the U.S. that according to the Shimla Agreement 1972 and the Lahore Declaration 1999, India and Pakistan were committed to resolving their issues bilaterally.

In another tweet, Mr. Jaishankar said that he had held “wide ranging discussions” with Mr. Pompeo on “regional issues.” The External Affairs Minister is in Bangkok to attend the ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting, the 9th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers' Meeting, the 26th ASEAN Regional Forum and the 10th Mekong Ganga Cooperation Ministerial Meeting.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 11:04:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-draws-red-line-on-kashmir-again-with-us-as-jaishankar-meets-pompeo/article28794426.ece

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