(Add comments on talks between India and China)
WASHINGTON, Sept. 4 (Reuters) – The United States is ready to help resolve the dispute between India and China over the mountainous border that crosses the western Himalayas, President Donald Trump said on Friday.
Trump told reporters the situation was “very unpleasant,” adding that the two countries “are committed to it much more strongly than many people even understand.”
Both sides deployed additional forces along the border after a clash in June, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed in close combat.
The defense ministers of India and China held talks in Moscow on Friday, the highest level political contact since tensions erupted along the disputed mountainous border in May.
During the meeting, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe told his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh that New Delhi is fully responsible for the current border tensions, according to the Chinese state-backed newspaper Global Times.
India’s Defense Ministry tweeted that the meeting lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes, without giving further details.
A US government source told Reuters in Washington that the US assessment is that neither China nor India is willing to push the dispute to the point of engaging in war.
Trump, when asked about the dispute during a White House press briefing, said Washington was discussing with the two countries what he could do to help defuse the situation.
“We are ready to help as far as China and India are concerned. If there is anything we can do, we would be happy to get involved and help,” he said.
Trump has offered to mediate between the two nuclear-weapon countries in the past. China has said there is no need for a third party to intervene and India also seemed cool about the idea.
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