Trump urges India, Pakistan to reduce tensions
NEW DELHI: US President Donald Trump spoke with the leaders of India and Pakistan on Monday, discussing prospects for improved trade ties with the US and stressing the need to reduce tensions over Kashmir between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
"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," Mr Trump tweeted.
Relations between Islamabad and New Delhi, already hostile, have been further strained over India's decision this month to revoke the special status of its portion of the Kashmir region that both countries claim.
Pakistan reacted with fury, cutting transport and trade links and expelling India's ambassador in retaliation.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Mr Trump he was hopeful that India's commerce minister and the US trade representative would meet again to discuss bilateral trade, the Indian government said.
Washington confirmed Mr Trump and Mr Modi had spoken about trade and said they "discussed how they will continue to strengthen US-India economic ties through increased trade".
Mr Trump also stressed during the call the need to lower tensions between India and Pakistan, it said.
The White House said Mr Trump also had spoken with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to "discuss the need to reduce tensions and moderate rhetoric" with India over the situation in Kashmir.
"The president reaffirmed the need to avoid escalation of the situation and urged restraint on both sides," it said in a statement.
It added that Mr Trump and Mr Khan also agreed to work together to strengthen trade and economic ties. - REUTERS