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January 22, 2020

Pak-India conflict: Trump willing to help as PM Imran Khan seeks US role

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January 22, 2020

DAVOS: President Donald Trump said the United States was watching developments between India and Pakistan over Kashmir “very closely” and was prepared to help if necessary, but did not say how.

Speaking ahead of talks with Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, Trump said trade and borders were both critical points for discussion.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said, "The Pakistan-India conflict is a very big issue for us in Pakistan and we expect the US to always play its part in deescalating the tensions, because no other country can.

"And, of course, we always hope that the US will play its part in resolving it because no other country can," Imran said. “Trade is going to be of very, very paramount importance ... and we’re working together on some borders, and we’re talking about Kashmir in relation to what is going on with Pakistan and India. And if we can help we certainly will be helping,” Trump said.

“We’ve been watching that and following it very, very closely,” he added. Trump described Imran Khan as "a very good friend of mine", saying he would speak to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the prevailing situation in Kashmir.

Imran Khan said that while relations with India were important, the most pressing concern was Afghanistan.

“The main issue, of course, is Afghanistan because it concerns the US and Pakistan,” he said. “Both of us are interested in peace there and an orderly transition in Afghanistan with talks with the Taliban and the government.”

Khan is one of at least three leaders Trump is scheduled to meet at Davos. The others include European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Iraqi President Barham Salih.

"I wanted to say hello for both a relationship standpoint — we’ve had a great relationship — and from the standpoint of our two countries. We’re getting along very well," he said, talking about Washington’s ties with Islamabad.

"I would say we’ve never been closer with Pakistan than woe are right now. And that’s a big statement, although I wouldn’t say at all times we were close, as a country. But we are veryclose right now because of the relationship that we have," Trump elaborated.

This was the third leadership-level interaction between Pakistan and the US since Khan's maiden visit to Washington last July. The two leaders also met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last September.

The prime minister along with his delegation reached here earlier in the day on a three-day official visit to attend the World Economic Forum.

The prime minister, in his remarks, said fortunately the US and Pakistan are on the same page on Afghan issue, adding transition talks are being held between the Afghan government and Taliban.

He reiterated his government's resolve that Pakistan wished for peace in the region and would continue playing its role for South Asia's stability.

Meanwhile, Ahmet Çalik, Chairman of Çalik Holding, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of WEF Annual Meeting 2020. Adviser on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razaq Dawood, SAPM Syed Zulfiqar Abbasi, SAPM Dr. Moeed Yusuf, Ambassador at large on Investments Ali Jehangir Siddiqui were also present. Çalik Holdings is a Turkish company and operates in energy, construction and real estate, textile, mining, finance, telecom and digital sectors. It is an approved lead company for TAP transmission line project.

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