The US has a very good and growing relationship with India, the White House has said.
White House Counsellor Kellyanne Conway was responding to a question on Thursday (26) on the denial by the Indian government that prime minister Narendra Modi requested president Donald Trump to mediate on the Kashmir issue.
“We have a very good and growing relationship with (prime minister) Mr Modi and the Indian government,” Conway told reporters.
At a separate State Department briefing on Thursday, while responding to a question whether the Kashmir policy of the US has changed, spokesperson Morgan Ortagus declined to comment.
“Yeah, I don’t have anything to say beyond the president’s statement,” she said.
On Monday, president Trump stunned India during a joint media availability with visiting Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan by claiming that prime minister Modi asked him to mediate on the Kashmir issue during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, last month.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar has said that prime minister Modi never asked for mediation and the issue of Kashmir was never discussed between the two leaders.
The external affairs ministry has also strongly reiterated India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan will have to be discussed bilaterally, including the Kashmir issue.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday said it was time to “move on” and asserted that the Indo-US ties remained very strong.
Kumar said the controversy should be put to rest as India made its position clear and the US State Department issued a quick clarification.
“We should move on. A statement was made by the external affairs minister in both houses of parliament. The ministry made a statement on the issue. The US State Department has issued a clarification. I think we should leave it at that,” Kumar said in New Delhi.
Sources said India had checked with the US the record of Trump-Modi meeting in Osaka and there was no mention of the two leaders talking about Kashmir or mediation.