Sidelines of Davos summit: Kashmir, Afghanistan in focus as Trump meets PM
We have been watching it very closely and it’s an honour to be here with my friend, says Trump
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday reiterated his long-standing offer to mediate the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India, during a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum assembly in Davos, Switzerland, scheduled from January 21 to January 24. The offer came during a pre-meeting press briefing featuring the two world leaders, where Trump also called PM Imran “his friend” and expressed his pleasure over meeting him once more.
The occasion marks the third time the two world leaders have met since the premier assumed office in July 2018.
“We’re talking about Kashmir […] if we can help, we certainly will be helping. We’ve been watching that and following it very, very closely,” said Trump.
The premier, in turn, said: “Mr President, it is good to see you again. Yes, there are issues we want to talk about. The main issue is Afghanistan because it concerns the US and Pakistan.
“Fortunately we are on the same page. Both of us are interested in peace there and an orderly transition in Afghanistan with talks with Taliban and the government.” He said it is always hoped the US will take part in resolving the issue “because no other country can”. The US president avoided responding concretely to a question by a reporter whether he will “also visit Pakistan” when he makes a trip to India, instead saying, “Well, we are meeting right now. I wanted to say hello.” Trump said that from a relationship standpoint, the US and Pakistan “are getting along very well.” “We have never been closer with Pakistan than we are right now.”
The meeting comes against the backdrop of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s trip to the United States, where he met with his counterpart to defuse regional tensions. The premier left for Davos early on Tuesday to attend the annual meeting. He is accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razaq Dawood, Special Assistant on National Security Mooed Yusuf and Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, while Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Ambassador at large for Investments Ali Jehangir Siddiqui will join the delegation in Davos.
The prime minister will deliver a keynote address at the WEF special session and also interact with corporate leaders at the Pakistan Strategy Dialogue.