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July 16, 2009
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US welcomes Indo-Pak talks

July 16, 2009

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WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday welcomed the imminent meeting between Pakistani and Indian prime ministers in Sharm el-Sheikh and expressed the hope that the high-level contacts between the two nuclear South Asian nations would lead to better understanding towards improved relations.

Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Robert Blake also welcomed the reports that Pakistan will proceed with prosecution of militants accused of involvement in Mumbai attacks. On Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to India later this week, the senior diplomat said: ìThe chief US diplomat is not trying to send any signal at all by not including Pakistan in her itinerary. That does not mean that Pakistan and Afghanistan are less important.”

When asked about the Secretary’s not visiting any other regional country on her first visit to that part of the world, considered critical to US interests. Blake said Secretary Clinton looks forward to the opportunity to visit Pakistan.

Responding to another question, he said the Obama administration does not plan to appoint a special envoy on Kashmir at the moment and felt that Pakistan and India should make progress towards resolution of the lingering dispute through mutual efforts.

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