Reducing Indo-Pak trust deficit will take time: US

The US has backed pledge of Indo-Pak leadership to improve bilateral ties.

Washington: The US on Monday supported the pledge of the Indo-Pak leadership to work to improve bilateral ties, but acknowledged that overcoming the trust deficit between the two neighbours would be a time taking job.

State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said "notwithstanding a trust deficit" there is a pledge between the leaders of the two South Asian rivals "to work very earnestly to improve relations".

"We, the United States, certainly support that," Crowley said in response to a question at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department at his daily press conference.

"As we`ve said many times, it will take time to overcome that (trust deficit), but certainly mutual commitment to high-level dialogue is a step in the right direction," Crowley said.

Earlier, Crowley said the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Bill Burns met with a wide range of senior Indian officials in New Delhi.

Prominent among them were his counterpart Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

"His discussions have centred on the upcoming June 01 through 4 US-India strategic dialogue," he said.

"While he was in India, Secretary Burns, as well as joined by Ambassador Tim Roemer, had the opportunity to express our heartfelt condolences to all who were lost in the May 22nd crash of Air India Express Flight 812 from Dubai to Mangalore," the spokesman said.

He said in line with Indian Directorate General for Civil Aviation`s request for technical assistance, an eight-member team of investigators from the US National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing will reach Mangalore today.

They will participate in the investigation led by the Indian Directorate for Civil Aviation, he said.

Responding to a question, Crowley said the US is not aware that anyone in India has suggested a link to terrorism to the plane crash accident.

"We provide this assistance to any country that unfortunately suffers a tragedy of this nature. And we will cooperate fully in the Indian investigation," he said.


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