Kashmir a bilateral issue between India-Pak, welcome them sitting down, ready to assist: US

After US President Donald Trump’s remarks about mediation on Kashmir, the State Department on Tuesday said that it is a “bilateral” issue between India and Pakistan, and the US ‘welcomes the two countries sitting down for talks.’

US also added that Pakistan taking “sustained and irreversible” steps against terrorism is key to a successful dialogue with India.

“While Kashmir is a bilateral issue for both parties to discuss, the Trump administration welcomes Pakistan and India sitting down and the United States stands ready to assist,” a State Department spokesperson told PTI in response to a question if Donald Trump’s remarks reflect a change in the country’s policy on Kashmir.

India has already rejected Trump’s claim that Narendra Modi sought his mediation on the Kashmir issue.

For more than a decade, the US has consistently insisted that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and it is for the two countries to decide on the nature and scope of the dialogue.

“We believe the foundation for any successful dialogue between India and Pakistan is based on Pakistan taking sustained and irreversible steps against militants and terrorists on its territory. These actions are in line with Prime Minister (Imran) Khan’s stated commitments, and Pakistan’s international obligations,” the State Department spokesperson said.

“We will continue to support efforts that reduce tensions and create an environment conducive for dialogue. This first and foremost means tackling the menace of terrorism. As the President indicated, we stand ready to assist,” the spokesperson said in response to a question.

Meanwhile, the White House said that the US is ready to assist on the Kashmir issue.

“As the President made clear, the United States stands ready to assist if requested by both India and Pakistan,” a senior administration official told PTI.

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