Washington: US President Donald Trump on Friday conveyed the importance of India and Pakistan reducing tensions through bilateral dialogue on the Kashmir issue during a phone call with Prime Minister Imran Khan, the White House said.
The phone conversation between Trump and Khan took place before the close-door-consultation of the 15 members of the UN Security Council in New York.
The White House readout of the call was issued after the meeting concluded at the UN headquarters in New York. “The President conveyed the importance of India and Pakistan reducing tensions through bilateral dialogue regarding the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement.
The White House said Trump spoke with Khan to “discuss regional developments” and to follow up on latter's visit to Washington, DC, last month.
“The two leaders further discussed how they will continue to build on the growing relationship between the United States and Pakistan and the momentum created during their recent meeting at the White House,” Gidley said.
In Islamabad, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Khan took the US President "into confidence" regarding the UN Security Council meeting at the UN headquarters after the Indian government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. "Prime Minister Khan conveyed Pakistan's concern on recent developments in Kashmir and the threat they pose to the regional peace," Qureshi was quoted as saying by state-run Radio Pakistan.
The Foreign Minister said the conversation between the two leaders was held in a "cordial environment". They also agreed to remain in contact over the Kashmir issue, he said. They also discussed the situation in Afghanistan. Prime Minister Khan said Pakistan has been playing a "constructive role to bring peace in Afghanistan and it made efforts in past and will do so in future too."
Qureshi said Pakistan has contacted four of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and are "also trying to contact French President so that his country understands our position".
The UN Security Council on Friday held a rare closed door meeting to discuss India revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir after Pakistan, backed by its all-weather ally, China, requested "closed consultations" on the issue. The meeting was open only to the five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members.
China, a permanent member of the UNSC and close ally of Pakistan, had asked for "closed consultations" in the Council. On August 5, India revoked Article 370 of the Constitution removing special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and also bifurcated the state into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Reacting to India's decision, Pakistan expelled the Indian High Commissioner soon after deciding to downgrade diplomatic ties with New Delhi. India has categorically told the international community that its move to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter and has also advised Pakistan to accept the reality....