After call with PM Modi, Donald Trump dials Pak PM

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US President Donald Trump has in a phone conversation asked Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to “moderate rhetoric” with India over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir in an effort to reduce tensions on Monday.

Trump’s call with Imran Khan – the second in less than a week – came soon after a 30-minute conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which PM Modi raised the issue of “extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence” by leaders of Pakistan.

Mr Trump spoke by telephone with Mr Khan to discuss “the need to reduce tensions and moderate rhetoric with India over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” the White House said in readout of the call.

On both sides, the White House said during the conversation, Mr Trump “reaffirmed the need to avoid escalation of the situation, and urged restraint”. It added that the two leaders also agreed to work towards strengthening US-Pakistan economic and trade cooperation.

In his telephonic conversation with Mr Trump, PM Modi highlighted the importance of creating an environment free from terror and violence and eschewing cross-border terrorism without exception.

“In the context of the regional situation, the prime minister stated that extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region was not conducive to peace,” it said. Earlier this month, India scrapped special status from Jammu and Kashmir’s and divided it into two Union Territories, evoking strong reactions from Pakistan.

In a tweet the US President said “Spoke to my two good friends, Prime Minister Modi of India, and Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan, regarding Trade, Strategic Partnerships and, most importantly, for India and Pakistan to work towards reducing tensions in Kashmir.”

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said “Mr Trump spoke with PM Modi to “discuss regional developments” and the US-India strategic partnership. “The two leaders further discussed how they will continue to strengthen United States-India economic ties through increased trade, and they look forward to meeting again soon,”

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