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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

A spokesperson for India's Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement on Monday denying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked President Trump to mediate the conflict between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region.

"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. 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. The Shimla Agreement & the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally."

Context: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a meeting with Trump Monday that he would welcome the president's help in mediating the 70-year conflict in the disputed territory, where tensions between the two nuclear powers bubbled up earlier this year.

  • Trump responded that Modi asked him two weeks ago whether he would like to be a "mediator or arbitrator," and said he'd follow up with the Indian prime minister.

Why it matters: Indian media and politicians instantly jumped on Trump's comments, claiming no Indian prime minister would dare seek third-party mediation.

  • The 1972 Simla Agreement signed by both nations was designed by India to "constrain Pakistan from involving third parties in discussions about the future of Kashmir," delinking the border from UN resolutions in order to ensure that the issue was a "purely bilateral affair," per The Hindu.

The bottom line: Modi asking Trump to intervene would have amounted to a stunning and embarrassing request, which is likely why the government was so quick to outright reject the president's claim.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

American officials and authorities in Haiti are working to try and free 17 hostages from a U.S.-based missionary group who were kidnapped in Port-au-Prince over the weekend, AP reported Monday.

The latest: Christian Aid Ministries said in a statement Sunday, "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children." The Ohio-based organization said they were on a trip to visit an orphanage when they were kidnapped Saturday.

China's economic growth slows

A worker assembles heavy truck engines in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, on Monday. Photo: Long We/Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

China's economy grew 4.9% in the third quarter of 2021 compared with a year earlier, the country's National Bureau of Statistics announced Monday.

Why it matters: The gross domestic product growth in the July-September period in the world’s second-largest economy marked the "weakest pace since the third quarter of 2020 and slowing from 7.9% in the second quarter," Reuters notes.

5 hours ago - World

Former spy Steele defends controversial Trump Russia dossier

Former U.K. intelligence officer Christopher Steele arrives at the High Court in London in July 2020. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

The author of the "Steele Dossier," containing unverified claims about former President Trump told ABC News he stands by his controversial report, according to excerpts from an upcoming documentary released Sunday.

Why it matters: The FBI drew on former U.K. intelligence officer Christopher Steele's dossier as part of its investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged links to Russia's government, which led to former special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.