Trump "Encouraged PM Modi To Fulfil Promise To Better Lives Of Kashmiris"

The White House said President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also discussed progress on different aspects of their strategic partnership

Trump 'Encouraged PM Modi To Fulfil Promise To Better Lives Of Kashmiris'

Donald Trump and PM Narendra Modi met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly

New Delhi:

US President Donald Trump, in a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, "encouraged him to improve ties with Pakistan and fulfil his promise to better the lives of the Kashmiri people," the White House said in a statement after the meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

"The President encouraged Prime Minister Modi to improve relations with Pakistan and fulfil his promise to better the lives of the Kashmiri people," said the White House readout of the meeting.

"Finally, both leaders expressed concerns about the situation in Afghanistan and shared ideas about how to work together to promote security and prosperity in the country."

The White House said the two leaders also discussed progress on different aspects of their strategic partnership and upcoming opportunities to ensure it remains strong.

"The President reaffirmed the importance of greatly increasing trade between the United States and India, and highlighted the need for resolving barriers to free, fair, and reciprocal trade, which includes improving United States companies' market access in India. The President noted good progress on defence and security cooperation."

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Pakistan has been told by the international community to stop giving shelter to terrorists on its soil

India said it is not "shying away" from talks with Pakistan, but for that it expects Islamabad to take concrete steps, which has not happened. "PM made clear that we are not shying away from talks with Pakistan, but for that to happen we expect some concrete steps to happen and we do not find any effort by Pakistan in taking those steps," Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters.

"The PM underscored that 42,000 lives have been lost to terror attacks in the last 30 years, and that it is incumbent on the international community to join together to fight the scourge. The PM also mentioned that globally from a number of developed countries, a significant number of foreign fighters, have participated in terror activities globally," Mr Gokhale said.

"He pointed out that though India has the largest or probably second largest population of citizens of Muslim faith, there has been significantly lower level of participation, and a lower level of radicalisation than in other parts of the world, and this is an important fact that should be recognised by the international community," he said, adding that President Trump "acknowledged and took note of the fact".

President Trump has more than once made a pitch to help resolve differences between India and Pakistan, in the fourth offer at mediation which New Delhi has strongly opposed so far. The offer came just hours before he met PM Modi for bilateral talks in New York on Tuesday.

"I think as far as Pakistan is concerned, India, they're talking, I'm certainly willing to help. I think they would in a certain way like my help. But they've to both want it. They have very different views and I'm concerned about it," he told reporters ahead of his address to the UN General Assembly.

The statement came less than 24 hours after Mr Trump, with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan by his side, renewed his offer of arbitration on Kashmir.

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