India denies Trump’s claim on speaking with Modi

New Delhi, May 30:

India on Friday rejected US President Donald Trump’s startling claim that he spoke to Prime Minister Narenda Modi on the military standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh with top government sources asserting that there was no such communication between the two leaders on the row.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh also sent a clear message to Washington that there was no scope for any third party mediation on its border dispute with China as he told US Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper during a telephonic conversation that existing bilateral mechanisms are being used to end the face-off.

The sources said there has been no recent contact between Prime Minister Modi and President Trump and that the last conversation they had was on April 4 on the subject of hydroxychloroquine.

“Yesterday, the external affairs ministry had made it clear that we are directly in touch with the Chinese through established mechanisms and diplomatic contacts,” a high-level source said.

The clarification came hours after Trump said in Washington that he had spoken to Modi and that the Indian Prime Minister is not in a “good mood” over the “big conflict” between India and China. Trump also reiterated his offer to mediate between India and China on the border standoff.

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