PM Modi and Donald Trump speak on the sidelines of the G7 Summit
PM Modi and Donald Trump speak on the sidelines of the G7 Summit

Washington: US President Donald Trump's efforts to help reduce the India-Pakistan tension is one of the five "big takeaways" from the just-concluded G7 Summit in France, according to the White House.

President Trump returned home on Monday from the G7 Summit held in the southwestern French city of Biarritz from August 24 to 26.

In its daily round-up for Monday, the White House said, "The five big takeaways are: A message of unity, securing a billion-dollar trade deal, promoting the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), developing stronger trade with Europe and helping to reduce India-Pakistan tension." "In his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, President Trump reaffirmed the need for dialogue between India and Pakistan and also worked to build on the great economic relations between our nations," it said.

Prime Minister Modi, flanked by President Trump, on Monday categorically rejected any scope for third party mediation on Kashmir, saying it was a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, and "we don't want to trouble any third country." "We spoke last night about Kashmir, the Prime Minister really feels he has it (situation) under control... and I'm sure that they will be able to do something that will be very good," Trump said.

"I have very good relationship with both the gentlemen (Modi and Khan) and I'm here. I think they can do it (resolve the issue) themselves," he added.

Trump's comments on Monday are being seen as a total climb-down from the time when he had made a startling claim that Modi has asked him to mediate on Kashmir. The claim was strongly rejected by India.

Trump has also offered to mediate between Indian and Pakistan on more than one occasion in the recent past amidst fresh Indo-Pak tension after the Indian government revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status.

In a tweet, the White House said during the meeting with Modi, Trump also acknowledged India's role as a critical partner in Afghanistan. The accompanying two photos released by the White House reflected a jubilant mood in the meeting room in France and the handshake between the two leaders.

Free Press Journal