US won’t leave India in Afghanistan: Blake
The India-Afghan-US tri-lateral consultations are not directed against Pakistan, a senior Obama Administration official has said.
Washington: The India-Afghan-US tri-lateral consultations are not directed against Pakistan, but is aimed at achieving the goal of economic development and stability in war-torn Afghanistan, a senior Obama Administration official has said.
"This is certainly not in any way seen as directed against Pakistan," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake told reporters at a news conference organised by the Washington Foreign Press centre.
"On the contrary, it`s to talk about the situation inside Afghanistan but also how we continue to support Afghanistan.”
".... And there are very important three transitions that are going to be taking place, not only the security transition but the political transition, because Afghanistan will be holding very important elections in 2014, and then the equally important economic transition that you`ve heard me talk about a great deal," he said in response to a question.
Details of the tri-lateral consultations would be announced in the coming weeks.
Responding to questions, Blake said the US shares India`s concerns about some of the threats that are emanating from Pakistan, from groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba.
"We are working very hard both to encourage Pakistan to take action against those, but also to prevent those kinds of attacks from occurring through our intelligence and other kinds of cooperation," he said.
When asked about the Indian request for access to David Headley and Tahawwur Rana, Blake referred the question to the Department of Justice.
"But as a whole I would just tell you that there`s been very good information exchange between our two countries with respect to Mr Headley and others.”
"We are very firmly committed to continuing that information exchange and certainly to sharing any kind of threat information the instant that we get it because that is extremely important to the security of India, but also an important part of our counterterrorism cooperation," Blake said.
He said the US welcomes India`s contribution towards building a stable, secure and prosperous Afghanistan, including its more than USD 2 billion in assistance that it is providing.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has thanked India for hosting, on June 28, a very important investment conference that will take place in New Delhi to galvanise more international private sector investment for Afghanistan to look ahead to the transition there, Blake said.
Welcoming India`s role in training of Afghan security forces, Blake said: "As we look ahead to the transition, we are very focused on showing to Afghanistan that there will be strong international community support for all of these transitions."
The US, he said, is certainly not leaving India in Afghanistan.
"We`re all going to be working very closely to help support Afghanistan," he said.