Will deepen engagement in Asia Pacific: US

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 11:27

Washington: The US would deepen its engagement in the Asia Pacific region in the second term of the Obama Administration to seize opportunities for a more secure and prosperous future, a senior American official said on Monday.

Reiterating administration`s strong commitment to the Asia-Pacific region, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said it is driven by its enduring interests and it won`t change.

"As (the US) President (Barack) Obama said, we will deepen our engagement in the region in order to seize opportunities for a more secure and prosperous future," he told reporters at his daily news conference.

"We have said that we`re going to rebalance to Asia, that this is something that we`ve been working on, and the President has a strong commitment," Ventrell said.

He said the US supports an Afghan-led reconciliation process.

"We have increased the capacity of Afghan security forces to fight insurgents, transitioning to an Afghan security lead, building an enduring partnership with Afghanistan. We now have Afghan forces leading nearly 90 per cent of operations across the country," State Department spokesman, Patrick Ventrell told.

"We`ve signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement. We`re negotiating a new bilateral security agreement. We`re working on preparations for a free, inclusive and transparent election in 2014. So we really stand behind the record of the progress we`ve made in Afghanistan," he said in response to a question.

The United States, he said, believes that peace and reconciliation is the surest way to end violence.

"So we continue to have the objective of Afghans sitting down with Afghans to determine the future of their country," he said.

"Obviously we want those who are combatants or who are opposing the legitimate Afghan government to of course lay down their arms and participate politically and through the Afghan constitution," Ventrell said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 11:27

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