US hopeful of Feb 25 Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary level talks

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 23:44

Washington: On the eve of the first post
26/11 Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary talks, the US is optimistic
about it resulting in a sustained dialogue between the two for
moving towards a more normalised relation.

"We are hopeful that the February 25 talks in New
Delhi will result in a sustained ongoing dialogue that is
aimed at addressing the differences and unresolved issues
between India and Pakistan," the White House spokesman, Mike
Hammer, told agency.
However, the US has repeatedly ruled out any role for
itself in talks between India and Pakistan. The US strongly
believes that an open dialogue is the best way to move toward
more normalised relations and for promoting stability in the
region, Hammer said and praised the leaders of the two
countries on their decision to go ahead of the talks.

"We praise the leaders of both countries for their
decision to go ahead with the talks and look forward to
learning about their outcome," he said.

The US is extremely supportive of any steps that
India and Pakistan are able to take to engage in bilateral
dialogue and to reduce tensions between their two countries,
Hammer said in response to a question.

The Obama Administration is keenly watching the
developments in the Indian subcontinent as the two Foreign
Secretaries meet in New Delhi on Thursday; as it believes that
a peaceful relationship between India and Pakistan is one of
the key factors for its success in the war against terrorism
in Afghanistan.
Top officials of the Obama Administration has
repeatedly refused any mediator`s role between the two South
Asian neighbours, but have said that it would encourage New
Delhi and Islamabad to engage in a dialogue to resolve its all
differences.

Earlier this week, the Assistant Secretary of State
for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, had termed it as a
significant breakthrough.

"We welcome very much the fact that these talks are
taking place. I think this is a significant breakthrough, and
I really want to commend both the Indians and the Pakistanis
for arranging these talks," Robert Blake said in an interview
to the BBC.

Talks have been suspended for some time as a result
of the November 2008 bombings in Mumbai, so we think this is a
very valuable opportunity for both of these countries to
explore the important issues on their agenda, but also to
think about ways that they can begin the process of
reestablishing the composite dialogue that they suspended and
again, normalise relations, Blake said.

"As you know, a great deal of progress was made
between 2004 and 2007.

I think we and the Indians and the Pakistanis
themselves hope that that progress can be reestablished,"
Blake said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 23:44

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