Trump asks Imran Khan to reduce tensions with India through dialogue

New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has stressed upon the need for bilateral dialogue to reduce tensions between India and Pakistan regarding the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the White House said on Saturday.

Trump's observation came during a telephonic conversation with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, hours before the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting in New York on Friday.

"Today, President Donald J. Trump spoke with Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan to discuss regional developments and to follow up on the Prime Minister's successful visit to Washington, D.C., last month," said Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley in a statement.

The White House said Trump conveyed the importance of India and Pakistan reducing tensions through bilateral dialogue regarding the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

"The two leaders further discussed how they will continue to build on the growing relationship between the United States and Pakistan and the momentum created during their recent meeting at the White House," said Gidley.

On Friday, US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan External met Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar in New Delhi and discussed with him ways to take forward the "deep convergences" in India-US strategic ties, with both sides focusing on a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific -- in the backdrop of China's widening footprints in the region.

"Glad to receive ... John Sullivan. Discussing the deep convergences of our strategic relationship," Jaishankar wrote on Twitter while posting a picture of the two sides seated for talks.

The talks come as the US reaffirmed that there was no change in its Kashmir policy. The US team led by Sullivan is in Delhi after a visit to Bhutan, where China is attempting to slowly expand its reach.

In Bhutan, Sullivan held talks with King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Prime Minister Lotay Tshering and other officials and discussed a range of issues, including the importance of protecting and enhancing a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region.

--IANS

ss/rtp

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