Washington, Jul 23: Within hours the US President Donald Trump made "amateurish and embarrassing mistake" by his remarks on 'mediation' on Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan, the US administration on Tuesday said "Kashmir is a bilateral issue for both parties to discuss".
Acting Assistant Secretary Alice Wells with the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, tweeted to say: "While Kashmir is a bilateral issue for both parties to discuss, the Trump administration welcomes Pakistan and India sitting down and the United States stands ready to assist".
Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, spoke with India's envoy to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla and "reiterated" his support for the longstanding US position on the Kashmir dispute, saying he supported dialogue between India and Pakistan, "but reaffirmed that the dialogue’s pace and scope can only be determined by India and Pakistan".
He also reaffirmed that in order for dialogue to be meaningful, "Pakistan must first take concrete and irreversible steps to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure on Pakistan’s soil", the statement said.Representative Brad Sherman, Congressman representing California's San Fernando Valley, tweeted about five hours back: "I just apologized to Indian Ambassador Harsh Shringla for Trump’s amateurish and embarrassing mistake".
In another missive, he wrote: "Everyone who knows anything about foreign policy in South Asia knows that India consistently opposes third-party mediation regarding Kashmir. Everyone knows PM Narendra Modi would never suggest such a thing. Trump’s statement is amateurish and delusional. And embarrassing.
President Trump on Monday dropped a virtual bombshell triggering a major row when he said Prime Minister Modi had asked him during Osaka meet in Japan in June to 'mediate' between India and Pakistan on Kashmir.
The Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi quickly denied Trump's claim and even as a senior opposition leader Shashi Tharoor of Congress party has said that the US President perhaps did not have "the slightest idea of what he is talking about". MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar wrote on the micro blogging site: "It has been India's consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally. Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism". Trump made his controversial remarks during talks with the visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in White House.
However, an official statement from the White House did not have any reference to Trump's remarks on Kashmir."The President acknowledges the initial steps Pakistan has taken to improve regional security and counter terrorism. Pakistan has made efforts to facilitate the Afghanistan peace talks, and we are going to ask them to do more. The path to a strong and enduring partnership between Pakistan and the United States lies in working together to find a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan," the statement, however, said. (UNI)