WORLD

Trump urges India, Pakistan to reduce tensions over Kashmir dispute

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a visit to Shell's soon-to-be completed Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex. [AP Photo]

US spoke with Indian Prime Minister and called for a reduction in tensions between and , the White House said on Monday. The call comes amid heightened tensions between the two nuclear powers over . Last week, Trump spoke with Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan and relayed a similar message.

US Donald Trump on Monday spoke with 's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging a reduction of tension between India and Pakistan over the disputed Kashmir region.

"The president conveyed the importance of reducing tensions between India and and maintaining peace in the region," White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

"The two leaders further discussed how they will continue to strengthen United States-India economic ties through increased trade, and they look forward to meeting again soon."

Trump spoke last week with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in a discussion that addressed reducing strains between the nuclear-armed neighbors over .

Mounting tensions between Pakistan and India have flared following New Delhi's scrapping of the special status for the Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir region.

The region has been facing a clampdown since Aug. 5 when the Indian government scrapped its special status. Hundreds of people, mostly political leaders, have been detained or arrested by authorities.

Kashmiri leaders and citizens fear the move is an attempt by India to change the demography of the state, where some groups have been fighting Indian rule for either independence, or unification with neighboring Pakistan.

India and Pakistan both hold Jammu and Kashmir in parts and claim it in full. China also claims part of the contested region, but it is India and Pakistan who have fought two wars over Kashmir.

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