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Up to India, Pak to carry forward relationship: US
T V Parasuram in Washington |
May 29, 2003 09:09 IST
India and Pakistan will have to carry forward their relationship and the United States is 'encouraged' by the recent peace moves between the two, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice has said
Rice made these comments ahead of President George W Bush's visit to Evian in France, where Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will also be present.
Asked by reporters on Wednesday about Bush's recent meetings with officials from the two countries, Rice said, "We are, in fact, encouraged by recent trends in the relationship between India and Pakistan. I think that everybody in the G-8 is encouraged by those recent trends."
"It (the Indo-Pak relationship) is not something that can be moved forth by the will of the G-8. But I know that members of the G-8 are welcoming what is happening with the Indians and the Pakistanis," she said.
French President Jacques Chirac has specially invited Vajpayee for a 'broader dialogue' on June 1 ahead of the G-8 summit.
But Rice made it clear that there will be no 'bilaterals' between Bush and Vajpayee.
Bush will hold one-to-one meetings only with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Chirac, she said.
While welcoming the peace gestures, Rice said more has to be done to reduce tensions between India and Pakistan.
"In fact the United States has been very engaged -- Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was out there not too long ago and there will be a lot of other activities and visitors," she said.
She said Bush was 'very involved' with Indo-Pak ties and repeatedly talked to Vajpayee and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf over telephone.
"But Bush does not confine the conversation to Indo-Pakistan relations, but discusses a variety of subjects, including democratisation of Pakistan," Rice said.
"We have a broad relationship with Pakistan, just as we have a broad relationship with India. And every time that he talks to Prime Minister Vajpayee or President Musharraf, this is not the only issue on the agenda," she added.
"With India, we talk about scientific cooperation and trade, and the fact that this is the world's biggest democracy and we share a lot in common concerning values," Rice said.
Complete Coverage: Indo-Pak Peace Talks
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