Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump at the start of their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, July 22, 2019.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump at the start of their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, July 22, 2019.

This story was last updated on July 23 at 1:11 am.

U.S. President Donald Trump has offered to mediate the decades-long dispute between India and Pakistan over the region of Kashmir. 
 
"If I can help, I would love to be a mediator," Trump said at the White House, where he met Monday with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

"If I can do anything to help, let me know," he added.

Trump said India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also asked him to help with the disputed Kashmir region. 
 
However, India's foreign ministry said no such request was made by Modi.

FILE - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at first session of parliament in New Delhi, India, June 17, 2019..

"We have seen @POTUS's remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India & Pakistan, on Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by PM @narendramodi to US President," tweeted Raveesh Kumar, a spokesman for India's Ministry of External Affairs. "It has been India's consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally. Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism."

India has been demanding that Pakistan take steps to dismantle the infrastructure of Islamic militant groups based in Kashmir. Islamabad denies that it supports such groups. 

“As the President made clear, the United States stands ready to assist if requested by both India and Pakistan,” a senior administration official tells VOA when asked to respond to India’s denial that Prime Minister Modi asked Trump to mediate the Kashmir issue.

Pakistan has long sought U.S. mediation in the Kashmir dispute, but the United States has previously said the issue must be solved bilaterally between India and Pakistan. 

Kashmir, a region in the Himalayas, is claimed by both India and Pakistan. The area has been the cause of two of their three wars and continues to be a flashpoint between the nuclear-armed neighbors. 

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