Trump reiterates desire to broker India-Pakistan issues

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during a bilateral meeting with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan at the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

President Donald Trump said he would like to help with the border situation between India and Pakistan and that his administration has been closely following matters in the Subcontinent.

He made the remarks at a short press briefing on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, alongside Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan as the two went into a bilateral meeting. The remarks at the press briefing were contained in a White House transcript.

Calling Khan “a very good friend of mine,” President Trump said,  “We’re going to be talking about trade and many other things.  But trade is going to be of very, very paramount importance.  And we’re doing more trade as it turns.  And we’re working together on some borders, and we’re talking about Kashmir and the relation to what’s going on with Pakistan and India.  And if we can help, we certainly will be helping.  And we’ve been watching that and following it very, very closely.”

Khan in his response said, “And, yes, there are issues we want to talk about.  The main issue, of course, is Afghanistan because it concerns the U.S. and Pakistan.  And, fortunately, we are on the same page.  Both of us are interested in peace there and an orderly transition in Afghanistan with talks with Taliban and the government.”

“And also, of course, India.  It is — it is a big issue.  For us, in Pakistan, it’s a big issue.  And, of course, we always hope that the U.S. will play its part in resolving it because no other country can,” Khan said.

When asked if he will be visiting Pakistan when he visits India next month, President Trump indicated Islamabad was not on his itinerary as he was meeting Khan in Davos.

“Well, we’re visiting right now, so we won’t really have to,” President Trump said.

Following the bilateral meeting, the White House sent a readout, saying, “The two leaders agreed to continue efforts to seek a lasting political settlement in Afghanistan that would bring peace and ensure terrorists can no longer operate from the country.  They also discussed ways to expand trade between the United States and Pakistan, and other bilateral and regional issues.”
At the press briefing before the bilateral, President Trump described the relationship between Washington and Islamabad as the closest it has ever been. “We’re getting along very well.  I would say we’ve never been closer with Pakistan than we are right now.  And that’s a big statement, although I wouldn’t say at all times we were close, as a country.  But we are very close right now because of the relationship that we have.  So it’s very important.”

Trump’s visit to India is preceded by the preparation of a draft limited bilateral trade agreement which he is expected to sign during his visit, according to news reports. While the dates of the President’s first visit to India have not been made public as yet, it could happen in February.

Reuters in a Jan. 14, 2020 report quoted unnamed sources saying Trump may visit India in the second half of February and that he may visit a second city besides Delhi.

President Trump’s visit to the World Economic Forum comes while Senate hearings on his impeachment are ongoing in Washington, D.C.




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here