Resolve Kashmir through 'direct dialogue': US tells India, Pakistan days after Nikki Haley's mediation offer

Just days after US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley suggested that the Donald Trump administration would be interested to mediate in the seven-decade long Kashmir conflict, the United States on Tuesday seemed to have returned to its previous stance of non-interference as it asked India and Pakistan to resolve the issue through "direct dialogue".

“We encourage India and Pakistan to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tensions,” Hindustan Times quoted a US state department spokesperson as saying.

According to the report, closer ties between the two countries would help strengthen regional economic co-operation between India and Pakistan.

US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley. Reuters

US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley. Reuters

The latest statement comes in the backdrop of Haley's surprise offer to help resolve the bilateral quagmire in Jammu and Kashmir.

"This administration is concerned about the relationship between India and Pakistan and very much wants to see how we de-escalate any sort of conflict going forward," Haley, who holds a cabinet rank in the Trump administration had said on Monday.

"I would expect that the administration is going to be in talks and try and find its place to be part of that (process)."

She also added, "And also wouldn't be surprised if the president participates as well."

However, India, which has been steadfastly against any third-party intervention in the Kashmir dispute snubbed the offer but asked the international community to enforce strict mechanisms to stop terror emanating from Pakistan.

It is to be noted that during his campaign in 2016, Trump had offered to mediate between India and Pakistan but was careful to add that it was only if the two nations wanted him to.

"If it was necessary, I would do that. If we could get India and Pakistan getting along, I would be honoured to do that. That would be a tremendous achievement... I think if they wanted me to, I would love to be the mediator or arbitrator," Trump had said in the interview in October 2016.

Back then, Pakistan had welcomed Donald Trump's offer to mediate in the Kashmir dispute.

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria had said, "Pakistan desires a close relationship with the US, and wishes to further strengthen it".

With inputs from agencies


Published Date: Apr 06, 2017 11:34 am | Updated Date: Apr 06, 2017 11:42 am

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