Kashmir mediation: Nothing to say beyond President's statement, US State Dept


Washington,  US State Department has again triggered a row over President Donald Trump's claim on Kashmir mediation, saying that it has nothing to say beyond the President's statement. Responding to a question on change in US policy on Kashmir in a recent state department briefing, Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said, "I don't have anything to say beyond the President’s statement.' Earlier on July 23, rubbishing the claims made by President Trump on 'mediation' on Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan, the US state department said, "Kashmir is a bilateral issue for both parties to discuss." "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", Acting Assistant Secretary Alice Wells with the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs had said in a tweet. President Trump's statement had created severe controversy in India with Congress raising the issue and insisting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should himself clarify the matter in the Lok Sabha. Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had made similar statements in both the Houses of Parliament after the opposition uproar and said it has been India's firm and consistent policy that "all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally". "Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross-border terrorism," he had said, adding that the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration provide the only basis to resolve all issues between India and Pakistan bilaterally.  "No such request has been made to the US President," Dr Jaishankar had said.

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