Tue, 22 Oct 2019

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has called on U.S. President Donald Trump to restart peace talks with the Afghan Taliban, and said Washington has a 'duty' to calm the Kashmir standoff with India.

'Stability in Afghanistan means stability in Pakistan,' Khan said on September 23 at the start of his meeting with Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Trump said it was 'ridiculous' that the United States had been fighting in Afghanistan for 18 years, but he made no promises about restarting negotiations with the Taliban, saying, 'We'll see.'

Earlier this month, Trump abruptly cancelled negotiations with the militant group aimed at ending the United States' longest war, following nine rounds of talks between U.S. and Taliban negotiators in Qatar.

In New York, Khan also urged Trump to use U.S. influence to help end India's 'siege' of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

New Delhi has placed the Indian-administered part of Kashmir under a military clampdown, restricting many basic freedoms.

'The most powerful country in the world has a responsibility,' the Pakistani prime minister said, warning that the 'crisis is going to get much bigger.'

Trump said he would be willing to mediate between India and Pakistan if both countries asked for this.

'If I can help, I'd like to help,' he said.

Trump is to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York later this week.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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