Washington: US President Donald Trump has said the issue of Kashmir is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan but he would be happy to mediate if they want him to do so.
He said that "it is up to Prime Minister Modi" to accept his offer to intervene in the Kashmir issue -- without referring to his earlier claim that Modi had requested him to "mediate" in the matter -- something India has outright denied.
To a query by a reporter in the White House if he thinks Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, Trump, ignoring the question, said: "Have they accepted the offer or not (to mediate). Well, it is really up to Prime Minister Modi."
"I met with Prime Minister Khan. I think they are fantastic people -- Khan and Modi. I would imagine they can get along really well. But if they wanted somebody to intervene, or to help them; And I spoke with Pakistan about that, and I spoke frankly to India about that. But that been going, that battle, for a long time. If I can, if they wanted to, I would certainly help them," he added.
On July 22, while speaking to reporters along with visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Trump claimed that during his meeting with Modi in Osaka: "We talked about the subject, (and) he actually said, 'Would you like to mediate, or arbitrate?' I said, 'Where,?' (and he said) 'Kashmir'."
India has denied that Modi made such a request to Trump.
Later the US State Department issued a statement conforming to its earlier stand that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, and added that the US stands ready to help.