India dismisses claims of Modi speaking to Trump on LAC standoff with China

The clarification came after Trump said in Washington that he spoke to Modi over India's ongoing border row with China in Eastern Ladakh.

AFP
On Tuesday, Trump offered to mediate between India and China to resolve the border dispute.
NEW DELHI: The Indian government on Friday categorically stated that PM Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump did not speak to each other over phone on the LAC standoff with China even as the American leader claimed that he spoke to the PM.

"There has been no recent contact between PM Modi and President Trump. The last conversation between them was on April 4 on the subject of hydroxychloroquine. On Thursday, MEA had also made it clear that we are directly in touch with the Chinese through established mechanisms and diplomatic contacts," a senior government source told ET.

Speaking with the reporters in the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday, Trump said a "big conflict" was going on between India and China.


"I like your prime minister a lot. He is a great gentleman," the president said.

"Have a big conflict 'India and China. Two countries with 1.4 billion people (each). Two countries with very powerful militaries. India is not happy and probably China is not happy," he said when asked if he was worried about the border situation between India and China.

"I can tell you; I did speak to Prime Minister Modi. He is not in a good mood about what is going on with China," Trump said.
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It came on a day India asserted that it is engaging bilaterally with Beijing based on five established mechanisms to address border issues between the two sides thereby making it clear that it is not open to US President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate on the Sino-Indian border row.

“We are engaged with Chinese on resolving boundary issue,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said Thursday making it clear that there is no room for mediation by any third party. This in keeping with Delhi’s principled position on not accepting any offer from outside to mediate on bilateral matters.

“We have informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their now raging border dispute. Thank you!,” US President Donald Trump had tweeted on Wednesday taking everyone by surprise. This was the first time that a US President has offered to mediate between India and China, even as Washington has shown willingness many a time to be a peacemaker between Delhi and Islamabad. India has not accepted any US attempt to mediate in Indo-Pak affairs, including several attempts made by Trump.

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