Our position on mediation is clear: India on Donald Trump's mediation offer in Kashmir issue

New York [USA]: India on Tuesday reiterated that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan and New Delhi's position on third-party mediation is very clear.

"On the issue of Jammu of Kashmir, our position on mediation is very clear. If there are issues to be discussed with Pakistan, it will be discussed bilaterally," Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters here at a media briefing. He made the comments after Trump once again offered to mediate on the Kashmir issue during his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday. Trump had said he is "ready, willing, and able" to meditate on the Kashmir matter if India and Pakistan want him to do so.

"If I can help, I would certainly do that. It will be dependent on both of these gentlemen (Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Imran Khan)," Trump had said in response to a question on whether he will offer to mediate on the issue of Kashmir. "One without the other does not work, if you want to do the mediation or if you want to do the arbitration. But I would certainly want to help if both India and Pakistan would want to do that. It's a complex issue, but if both want it, I would be willing to do that," he had added.

A similar statement was made by the US President in the presence of Khan at a joint press conference during the latter's visit to Washington in July. Tensions between India and Pakistan soared following New Delhi's decisions to abrogate Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the region into two Union Territories (UTs). Pakistan has downgraded its diplomatic ties and suspended bilateral trade with India in the aftermath of the move. India has maintained that its constitutional decisions on Kashmir is its internal matter -- a stance that has been supported by many countries around the world.

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