US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets Subrahmanyam Jaishankar as Donald Trump sticks to Kashmir mediation remark

New Delhi: Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar will meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday on the sidelines of the second day of 9th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers meet in Bangkok, Thailand, in the first official meet between the two nations after US President Donald Trump’s comment on mediation between India and Pakistan over Kashmir issue. 

Confirming this, US state department’s public schedule said, “Secretary Pompeo meets with Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, In Bangkok, Thailand” at 8.45 am IST.

The meeting will take place shortly after Donald Trump reiterated his offer to mediate between India and Pakistani government on the Kashmir issue.

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“But if they (PM Modi and Imran Khan) wanted somebody to intervene or to help them….If I can — if they wanted me to, I would certainly intervene. Yeah,” Trump said in a press conference held at the White House.

Jaishankar is in Bangkok for two days from August 1-2 to participate in a number of ASEAN plus meetings. He will be participating in the 9th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (EAS FMM) and 26th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) on Friday.

Jaishankar-Pompeo pull aside will be the first high-level engagement between the US and the Indian side since remarks by Trump on Kashmir.  A few weeks ago, Trump had said that PM Modi had called for mediation over Kashmir during Trump-Modi bilateral meeting on the sidelines of Osaka G20 summit in Japan.

This was dismissed by the Indian side with EAM Jaishankar speaking in the Parliament saying all bilateral issues between India and Pakistan are governed by Shimla and Lahore agreements under which no third party mediation will be allowed. 

Jaishankar, on the first day of his visit, addressed the ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting and the 10th Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) Ministerial Meeting and met 10 of his counterparts.

These were Thailand’s Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters, Italy’s High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Japan Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Filipino Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Foreign Minister of Australia Marise Payne and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Jaishankar will be visiting China in August for a preparatory visit for the second India-China informal summit that is scheduled to take place by the end of 2019.