Trump says will meet Modi, Imran Khan
Washington, Sep 17 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has said that he would meet Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Imran Khan “soon”, while maintaining that tensions between the two South Asian neighbours had reduced.
The US President made the comments while speaking to reporters at the White House on Monday.
He said “a lot of progress was made”, in reference to de-escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan.
“I’ll see Prime Minister Modi and I will – we’ll – be meeting with (Prime Ministers of) India and Pakistan and I think a lot of progress has been made there… Lot of progress,” he responded to a question.
In a statement earlier, the White House said: “On Sunday, September 22, 2019, President Donald Trump will travel to Houston, Texas, and Wapakoneta, Ohio, to underscore the important partnerships between the US and India, and Australia.”
It said that Trump’s attendance at the “Howdy Modi” event organised by the Indian diaspora in Houston, would be “a great opportunity to emphasize strong ties” between the two nations.
It is a rare honour for a US President to appear at an ethnic meeting with a foreign leader and has not happened on the scale of the Houston rally with political overtones in recent memory.
Over 50,000 people have registered for the event at the NRG Stadium in Houston.
On Monday, Trump did not say when or where he would meet the Pakistani Prime Minister. But according to reports, the meeting may take place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York later this month.
Tension between India and Pakistan heightened after New Delhi’s revocation of the special status for Jammu and Kashmir on August 5. Following India’s move, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with the neighbour.
Islamabad has been crying foul over New Delhi’s move and continuously trying to highlight the issue on a global level. However, it has failed to get the international community to censure India.