Narendra Modi at G7 Summit LIVE: After making repeated offers for mediation on the “explosive Kashmir issue", US President Donald Trump on Monday said India and Pakistan can sort the issue out between themselves as he held a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in France.
Trump ceding to the fact that Kashmir is a bilateral issue is a big win for India as Pakistan has been trying to get global support after the government revoked special status for Jammu and Kashmir. “All issues between India and Pakistan are bilateral in nature, that is why we don’t bother any other country regarding them," Trump said, adding that Modi told him the situation in Kashmir is under control.
Though India is not a member of the G7 grouping, Modi reached Biarritz on Sunday after being personally invited by French President Emmanuel Macron. At the summit, Modi is likely to speak on burning global issues of environment, climate and digital transformation. The Prime Minister will first meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chile President Sebastian Pinera, after which he will hold one-on-one talks with Trump on the sidelines of the summit.
With Donald Trump referencing twice within a month his desire to ‘mediate’ in the Kashmir issue and US State Department later rephrasing it to ‘ready to assist if desired’, New Delhi and Washington look prepared to discuss the matter in today’s meeting, which is expected to last 45 minutes.
Modi arrived in Biarritz from Manama after concluding his three-nation tour to France, the UAE and Bahrain, where he offered prayers at the Shreenathji Temple, the oldest temple in the Gulf region. The Ministry of External Affairs had said Macron’s invitation was a “reflection of the personal chemistry" between the two leaders and also “recognition of India as a major economic power".
The countries which are part of the G7 include the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the US. Apart from Kashmir, Modi and Trump are also likely to discuss trade issues and other topics of mutual interest.
US was one of India’s strongest supporters in the closed consultations on Kashmir called at the behest of Pakistan’s ally China at the UN Security Council. India had communicated that since the reading down of Article 370 of the Constitution, which provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir, is an internal matter and had no bearing on the status of the Line of Control (LoC), issues can be bilaterally resolved between India and Pakistan as decided nearly five decades ago.
While both the US and France supported India’s position, both countries gave a near-simultaneous call late last week to lift communication restrictions in Kashmir.
Speaking about the Modi-Trump meeting, a senior US official said on Saturday that “India’s decision to rescind Article 370 in Kashmir is an internal decision, but certainly with regional implications. And President Trump will likely want to hear how Prime Minister Modi intends to calm regional tensions in light of this significant move."
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