US President Donald Trump on Tuesday described Kashmir as a "complicated place" and called the issue "explosive", owing to a religious conflict. He also again offered to mediate between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, after his contentious statement last month.
"Kashmir is a very complicated place. You have the Hindus, and you have the Muslims, and I wouldn't say they get along so great. And that's what you have right now." Trump told reporters at the White House.
The US President also said that he will be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the weekend at the G7 summit in France's Biarritz, adding that the issue, including his offer to mediate, may be raised at their meeting.
"And I think we're helping the situation but there's tremendous problems between the two countries. And I will do the best I can to mediate or do something," he added.
Trump on Monday had a phone conversations with his "two good friends" - Indian Prime Minister Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan - during which he urged both the countries to work towards reducing tensions in Kashmir.
Spoke to my two good friends, Prime Minister Modi of India, and Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan, regarding Trade, Strategic Partnerships and, most importantly, for India and Pakistan to work towards reducing tensions in Kashmir. A tough situation, but good conversations!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2019
PM Modi, during the 30-minute conversation with the US President, called the aggressive stance of Pakistan leaders over the Kashmir issue an "extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region was not conducive to peace".
Trump also advised Pakistan to "moderate its rhetoric with India" on Kashmir after the Indian government scrapped Article 370 that gave Jammu and Kashmir special status in the constitution. The New Delhi's move of bifurcating the state into two union territories - J&K and Ladakh was widely criticised by Pakistan, who has claimed that the decision was an "illegal, unilateral, reckless and coercive attempt" by India.
A statement released by the White House on the US President's conversation with Khan read: "Trump reaffirmed the need to avoid escalation of the situation, and urged restraint on both sides. The two leaders also agreed to work together to strengthen United States-Pakistan economic and trade cooperation."
The US President had offered to mediate in the the Kashmir issue last month and claimed that Modi had requested him during their meeting in Osaka, Japan, in June. Indian foreign ministry rebuffed Trump's offer and stated that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are "discussed only bilaterally" according to the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration.