NEW DELHI: Did US President Donald Trump speak with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the phone to discuss the South Asian nation’s border tensions with China?
Trump, who reiterated his offer to mediate between New Delhi and Beijing over the rising temperatures at their border, told a reporter in Washington on Thursday that he spoke to Modi. The Indian government says no such conversation took place.
“But I can tell you, I did speak to Prime Minister Modi. He’s not — he’s not in a good mood about what’s going on with China,” Trump said of his chat with the Indian leader.
When asked for details of the phone call, India’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday that Modi hasn’t spoken to the US president since April 4 when the leaders discussed shipping hydroxychloroquine from India. There has been no conversation around the recent border stand-off with China, and New Delhi was directly in touch with the Chinese government through established mechanisms and diplomatic contacts, the foreign ministry said.
Trump had tweeted the offer to mediate between the two countries on Wednesday to which neither side has responded.
India and China are locked in a border stand-off, after several rounds of talks failed to ease tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals.
It’s not the first time India has denied contact between the two leaders. In July, Trump said Modi had asked him to intervene in India and Pakistan’s decades-long dispute over Kashmir. Again, India denied any such conversation took place.