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Modi and Trump likely to discuss Kashmir issue, US-China trade war

The PM will make it clear that there have been no human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Aug 26, 2019, 08.45 AM IST
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Agencies
Modi Trump
In recent times, the US President has twice offered to mediate on the Kashmir issue but India has opposed any such move, maintaining that it is a purely bilateral matter between India and Pakistan.
Biarritz (France): Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to highlight India’s efforts to normalise the situation in Kashmir Valley, with no human rights violations, during his bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of G7 summit.

The PM will make it clear that there have been no human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. ET has learnt that Trump may “raise the issue of human rights in the valley”.

Among other issues, Trump is also likely to inform Modi about the US-China trade war and the way-forward. Modi, on his part, is likely to seek its impact on international trade, including India. The two leaders are also likely to discuss the situation in Hong Kong, a Chinese territory where protesters are demanding greater democracy.

“President Trump is very much looking forward to his meeting with Prime Minister Modi. They will discuss strategic partnership and how they can cooperate more closely on issues like defence, counterterrorism and trade,” a US government official said, adding: “We expect the two leaders to build on the very productive discussions they had in Osaka at the G20 summit, as well as the phone call that they held earlier this week. They will look for solutions on the trade front. The US is looking to India to reduce tariffs and open its markets.”

“We do expect India-Pakistan relations to come up during the discussion. The President will like to hear from Prime Minister Modi on how he plans to reduce regional tensions and uphold respect for human rights in Kashmir as part of India’s role as the world’s largest democracy,” another US government official said, adding: “India’s decision on Article 370 in Kashmir is an internal one, but has regional implications. President Trump would like to know how Prime Minister Modi intends to calm regional tensions in light of this significant move.”

The President is likely to lay emphasis on the need for dialogue between India and Pakistan and may also make a case for India lifting communications and movement restrictions in Kashmir, one of the officials quoted above said. “President Trump is also calling on Pakistan to prevent infiltration of militants across the Line of Control and crack down on terrorist groups within its territory,” the official added.

The US is “watching the situation in Kashmir very closely. The President is ready to assist. But we note that India has not requested any formal mediation. And, you know, he’s friends with both Prime Minister Khan and Prime Minister Modi. He is ready to assist if they seek help,” the official said.

In recent times, the US President has twice offered to mediate on the Kashmir issue but India has opposed any such move, maintaining that it is a purely bilateral matter between India and Pakistan. Two other P5 states, France and Russia, have openly accepted India’s position on the matter. At the Thursday’s bilateral summit in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron said the Kashmir issue was bilateral in nature. Earlier on Wednesday, Russia backed India on the issue of territorial integrity when NSA Ajit Doval traveled to Moscow.
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