US says India’s decision to revoke Art 370 internal matter, ahead of Modi-Trump meet

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Washington: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with US President Donald Trump, the United States has said abrogation of Article 370 is an internal matter of India.

The US also called on Pakistan to prevent the infiltration of terrorists across the Line of Control (LoC) and to crack down on terrorist groups operating on its territory.

A senior US administration official who briefed reporters on Friday regarding Trump’s agenda for the upcoming G7 Summit in Paris said the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan is expected to come up during the meeting.

“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,” said the official.

“And certainly, President Trump is also calling on Pakistan to prevent the infiltration of militants across the Line of Control that divides Kashmir and to crack down on groups on its territory that have attacked India in the past,” said the official.

Prime Minister Modi will meet Trump on the sidelines of the G7 summit at Biarritz in Paris during the weekend.

The official said that Trump is looking forward to meeting Modi and the two leaders will discuss the strategic partnership and issues like defence cooperation, counterterrorism, and trade.

“President Trump is very much looking forward to his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Modi, where they will discuss the strategic partnership and how they can cooperate more closely on issues like defence cooperation, counterterrorism, and trade,” he said.

“We expect the two leaders to build on the very productive discussions they had in Osaka at the G20, as well as the phone call that they held earlier this week. They will look for solutions on the trade front. The U.S. is looking to India to reduce tariffs and open its markets,” he added.

After a brief conversation with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday, the US President once again offered his proposal to mediate on Kashmir, despite making it clear before that the ongoing dispute in the region should be resolved bilaterally by India and Pakistan.

Ramping up rhetoric against India, Pakistan has been endlessly trying to involve the international community in the wake of New Delhi’s historic decision to change the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir. This is despite India’s time and again reiteration that the matter is strictly “internal” to the country.

The US official has also said that India never requested for “any mediation”.

“We just note that India has not requested any formal mediation. But the President has said, you know, he’s friends with both leaders — both Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan and Prime Minister Modi of India. And he stands ready to assist if they both would like him to do so,” the official said.

Adhering to Khan’s request on Tuesday, the US President once again offered to mediate on the issue.

Calling Kashmir a “complicated situation”, Trump said, “A lot has to do with religion. You have the Hindus, and you have the Muslims. This has been going on for decades.”

Last month too, following Trump’s initial offer to mediate on Kashmir, New Delhi had categorically denied that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had ever requested the US president to meditate on the issue.

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