Trump discusses Kashmir situation in call with Pakistani leader

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President Trump on Friday spoke by phone with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan about the situation in Kashmir, roughly a month after the foreign leader visited the White House.

“The President conveyed the importance of India and Pakistan reducing tensions through bilateral dialogue regarding the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

Gidley pointed to “momentum” created by Khan’s first face-to-face meeting with Trump on July 22.

“The two leaders further discussed how they will continue to build on the growing relationship between the United States and Pakistan and the momentum created during their recent meeting at the White House,” Gidley said.{mosads}

There has for decades been conflict between India and Pakistan over the disputed territory of Kashmir, but tensions flared earlier this year following a February suicide attack that killed more than 40 Indian soldiers in the part of Kashmir controlled by India.

When Khan visited the White House last month, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him if he would like to mediate the Kashmir dispute and that he would be willing to do so.

India has denied making such a request, maintaining that the matter needs to be resolved through bilateral discussions.

“This has been going on for many, many years. … If I can help, I would love to be a mediator,” Trump said in July. “It’s impossible to believe two incredible countries that are very, very smart with very smart leadership can’t solve a problem like that.”

The United States has long had a tumultuous relationship with Pakistan over the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s relationship with the Taliban, but the July meeting was viewed as an effort by Trump to open the door to improving relations.

Trump was separately also expected to meet on Friday with his national security team to discuss Afghanistan.

Tags Donald Trump India–Pakistan relations Jammu and Kashmir Kashmir conflict Pakistan–United States relations

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