`Obama admn supportive of Indo-Pak peace process`

Last Updated: Sunday, March 11, 2012 - 13:49

Washington: India and Pakistan have taken
"constructive" steps to improve bilateral ties and the US,
though not directly involved in brokering the process, is
"incredibly" supportive of any efforts by them to expand their
relations, a top White House official has said.

"We are incredibly supportive of any efforts the Indians
and Pakistanis take to engage in dialogue to expand their
relations," the official said.

The comments came in response to a question about the
recent efforts of India and Pakistan to improve their
relationship, especially in the business and economic field.

"We think that both sides have taken constructive steps
in that direction," the official, a confidant of US President
Barack Obama, told a small group of journalists on condition
of anonymity.

In the first 100 days of coming to power, President Obama
had expressed his desire to use diplomatic tools to improve
relationship between India and Pakistan.

Nearly three years later, Obama administration officials
expressed satisfaction over the steps being initiated by
Indian and Pakistani leaders.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said in Singapore
yesterday that he would be travelling to Pakistan this summer.

Last month, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma visited
Pakistan.

The two countries have taken specific measures to improve
trade and business relationship, which has also improved the
political atmosphere between them, US officials feel.

"They (Indian and Pakistani leaders) have the full
support of the United States. And we are not going to be able
to be the ones to come in and broker, broker some type of
agreement, given the longstanding issues at hand," the White
House official said.

"But what we will do is express to both sides our strong
support for those types of... dialogue, and the steps that
they are taking on the commercial and investment side. And we
very much support seeing that go forward," the official told a
small group of journalist.

"We frankly believe it is in the interest of both
countries, both India and Pakistan have an interest in
improved ties. And so does the United States," which has a
very significant interest in seeing better relations between
them, the official said, endorsing the two countries` move to
improve their relationship.

Talking about the "difficult year" in US`s ties with
Pakistan, the official said despite the tough phase,
Washington has been able to "sustain" its relationship with
Islamabad. He said the US "needs" Islamabad on the table as it
discusses the future of the region.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, March 11, 2012 - 13:41

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