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US relations with India
'very active, positive'
T V Parasuram Washington |
June 07, 2003 12:03 IST
On the eve of Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani's visit, the US has said it views its relations with India as 'very active and positive', and stated that it was trying to get New Delhi and Islamabad to talk on all issues, including Kashmir.
"We have a very active and positive relationship with India. We see each other all the time at high levels," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said on Friday.
"Relations have reached a point and touched on a number of areas that hadn't been touched on for quite a long time. So
we intend to continue to pursue all those areas in our conversations at high levels with the Indian government," he added.
Advani, who will start his US visit on Saturday, is scheduled to meet Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Attorney General John Ashcroft and newly-appointed Secretary for Homeland Security Tom Ridge.
Asked about militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, Boucher said the US expects Pakistan to stop "cross-border activity" into the state.
"The fact that there is terrorism, that innocent people are being killed, is obvious, and that needs to be stopped.
"We have looked at ways that can be stopped. We have heard from the Pakistani prime minister [Mir Zafarrulah Khan Jamali] that he wants to stop the cross-border activity because he considers that one way that he can contribute to stopping the murder of innocent people and that is an important thing that he is going to do, committed to do, and we expect him to do it."
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf is scheduled to hold a summit meeting with US President George W Bush at Camp David later this month.
Boucher said the US welcomed developments that have taken place between India and Pakistan after Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee extended his peace initiative.
"We certainly support those kinds of steps. We have welcomed steps that they have taken with each other in terms of opening up, in terms of opening up communications routes and sending representatives back.
"We will continue to work with them to try to work towards a way that they can talk to each other, that they can deal with all these issues, including Kashmir.
"It is an issue of importance to us. It is an issue that we have pursued with each of the parties as we have pursued a better relationship ourselves with each of the parties," Boucher said.
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