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Govt change makes no difference:US

May 14, 2004 08:26 IST

Congratulating the Congress party for its election victory, the United States has said the Bush administration has excellent relations with India and a change of government makes no difference.

"We congratulate the Congress party on their success in the election," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said in Washington DC on Thursday.

Lauding Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for accepting the results, he said "once again, we are shown how strong and how deep are the roots of Indian democracy."

Boucher said the US has a very strong bilateral relationship with India and "we look forward to working with the new government when it's formed."

Asked about Indo-Pakistan relations in the wake of Vajpayee's exit, Boucher said the US will keep encouraging the countries to settle their differences through dialogue.

"We have always supported a resolution of differences between India and Pakistan through dialogue. We have made extensive efforts to try to assist them in the lowering of tension. We think that does reflect the desire of people in both countries for peace, so we will continue to assist that process and encourage that process," he said.

Boucher noted that during Secretary of State Colin Powell's visits to India, he had talked with Congress President Sonia Gandhi about the peace with Pakistan.

"I think every time he has met Mrs Gandhi and members of the Congress leadership, and he has frequently discussed this process going on with Pakistan with them and made clear how much we encourage it and support it."

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