Trump’s “deal-making skills” can help resolve Kashmir: US’ VP-elect

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NEW YORK, Dec. 5 (APP): US President-Elect Donald Trump can use his
“extraordinary deal-making skills” to reduce tensions around the world and resolve problems such as the decades-old Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan, Vice President-elect Mike Pence has said.

In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” news programme, Pence also
said the Trump administration intended to be “fully engaged” in South Asia and with India and Pakistan on issues such as Kashmir to promote peace and security.

Pence was responding to a question whether Trump’s remarks during a
recent phone conversation with Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif amounted to an offer to “be a mediator in deciding Kashmir”.

“I think in president-elect Donald Trump you’ve got someone who, who is prepared to advance America’s interests here at home, to rebuild this economy, to fight for American jobs,” Pence said.

“But I think you’re also going to see an energetic leadership in the world, prepared to engage and to look for ways that he can bring those extraordinary deal-making skills to bear on lessening tensions and solving problems in the world.”

Referring to recent tensions between India and Pakistan, Pence said
Trump wanted to make sure that both countries know that when this administration takes office, that we intend to be fully engaged in the region and fully engaged with both nations to advance peace and security.

During Trump’s conversation with PM Sharif, the president-elect described the Pakistani leader as a “terrific guy” and Pakistan as an amazing country.

Trump also said he was ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems.
Pence further said there had been great tension between India and Pakistan in recent days.

“It’s resulted in violence along the Kashmir region.”
During his conversations with leaders of India and Pakistan, Trump

expressed a desire for continued US engagement on building the relationship with both of those countries.

Asked if Trump’s transition team is using the expertise of the state
department’s foreign service professionals and following protocol and international norms for phone calls with key world leaders, Pence said he and Trump were receiving presidential daily briefs and formal briefings on national security.

“And, and I know the president-elect has been briefed as he’s been
making these calls,” he added.

Trump has spoken to more than 50 leaders around the world and these were  “courtesy conversations”, Pence said, adding they were part and parcel of beginning the kinds of relationships that will allow our new president to advance America’s interests in the world.

Here is a transcript of the questions and answers related to India and
Pakistan:
QUESTION: So let me jump to Pakistan. The Pakistan prime minister on
Thursday, here is the headline in the front page of the international news in Karachi, “Trump says ready to play role in resolution of issues.” So let me ask you, is he offering to mediate border disputes? I guess Pakistan wanted to imply that, that he was offering to mediate border disputes between Pakistan and India. Is that what he was trying to say?
VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT MIKE PENCE: Well, clearly there’s been great
tension between India and Pakistan in recent days. It’s resulted in violence along the Kashmir region. And I think what the President-elect expressed in conversations with leaders from both countries was a desire for continued U.S. engagement on building the relationship with both of those countries. These are two nuclear powers—
VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT MIKE PENCE:
• the President-elect recognizes that. And making sure that, that they know that when this administration takes office, that we intend to be fully engaged in the region and fully engaged with both nations to advance peace and security.
QUESTION: To be a mediator in deciding Kashmir?
VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT MIKE PENCE: Well, I think, I think, I think in
President-elect Donald Trump you’ve got someone who, who is prepared to advance America’s interests here at home, to rebuild this economy, to fight for American jobs. But I think you’re also going to see an energetic leadership in the world, prepared to engage and to look for ways that he can bring those extraordinary deal-making skills to bear on lessening tensions and solving problems in the world.