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news details
J&K likely to be on table as Modi talks to world leaders in France
8/25/2019 10:36:43 PM
Agencies
New Delhi, Aug 25: Amidst renewed focus on J&K and the lockdown in the Valley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Biarritz, an elegant seaside town on southwest France's Basque coast, on Sunday afternoon for his first G-7 summit. While Modi is coming prepared to speak at two sessions - one on climate change and the other on digital issues - it is likely that he will hold discussions with major world leaders on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
Modi is likely to meet US President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in this town where the wealthy French have their holiday homes. Sources said Modi lands in Biarritz, 700 km from Paris, on the afternoon of August 25 and is expected to meet some of the G-7 leaders that day. Macron is expected to host the PM for dinner later in the day.
While his predecessor Manmohan Singh has attended the G-8 summit five times between 2005 and 2009, this will be Modi's first visit - at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron - to this gathering of major western economies of the world which was reduced from G-8 to G-7 with the expulsion of Russia two years ago. There is talk of bringing Russia back and make it G-8 again.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, receives a medal during his induction to the Order of Zayed from Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, right, in Abu Dhabi. (AP)
US President Trump landed here on Saturday afternoon for the summit and the American officials have made it clear that Kashmir will be on the table when Modi meets him. His officials have now said that Trump is "ready to assist", instead of "ready to mediate".
"The United States is watching the situation in Kashmir very closely. We're continuing to call for calm and restraint, including on rhetoric. But we note the broader implications of the developments in Jammu and Kashmir, and the potential for increased stability in the region. So the President is very focused on this situation, these issues. And he has indicated that he is ready to assist if both sides are interested in helping to reduce their tensions," a senior US administration official said.
"Trump would want to hear from Prime Minister Modi on how he plans to reduce regional tensions and uphold respect for human rights for Kashmir, as part of India's role as the world's largest democracy," a senior US administration official said, ahead of the G-7 summit.
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