No scope for third party mediation on Kashmir issue, says MEA

New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday categorically said that there is no scope for third party mediation on the Kashmir issue and outlined that any discussion on bilateral matters should be held only between India and Pakistan. 

Responding to a media question about US President Donald Trump raising the Kashmir issue during his meeting with Pakistan prime Minister Imran Khan in Davos, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said," We have reacted to similar statements in the past. 

Our position on the Kashmir issue and the third party mediation has been very clear and consistent. Let me reiterate that there is no role for any third party in this matter. 

"Kumar, who was addressing the weekly media briefing also said the onus is on Pakistan to hold talks on conducive conditions free from violence and terrorism. 

"If there are any bilateral issues between India and Pakistan that needs to be discussed, it should be done between the two countries under provisions of the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration. But the onus is on Pakistan to create such conducive conditions - free from terror, hostility, and violence" said Kumar. 

The comments came after Trump on Tuesday said the US was watching the developments between India and Pakistan in relation to Kashmir 'very closely' and again offered his 'help' to resolve the issue. 

"We are going to be talking about trade and many other things. But trade is going to be of very, very paramount importance. And we are doing more trade as it turns. We are working together on some borders and we are talking about Kashmir and the relation to what is going on with Pakistan and India. 

If we can help, we certainly will be helping. And we have been watching that and following it very, very closely," Trump said with Khan sitting by his side on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. 

This was the fourth time that Trump had offered to mediate on the Kashmir issue in the last six months.

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