US in damage control mode after Trump flub on Kashmir

Trump administration mandarins and American foreign policy interlocutors began damage control measures on Monday night to mollify New Delhi after President Trump’s off-the-cuff offer to mediate on the Kashmir issue  touched off a firestorm in the diplomatic circuit. Hours after Trump’s remarks, US officials finessed his words to clarify that Washington still believes Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, and US stands ready only to assist the two parties.

Amid an uproar in diplomatic circles over Trump stepping into the Kashmir quagmire, which New Delhi has long maintained is for India and Pakistan to resolve, the State Department’s South Central Asia bureau that oversees US regional policy tweeted: While Kashmir is a bilateral issue for both parties to discuss, the Trump administration welcomes Pakistan and India sitting down and the United States stands ready to assist.

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