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India rules out third party role in ties with Pak

Source: PTI
November 18, 2009 17:33 IST
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India's irritation at the reference to Indo-Pak ties in the joint communiqué issued by United States President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao was apparent from an official statement issued on Wednesday making it clear that a third party role was not necessary.

Sticking to its stand that no 'meaningful dialogue' can take place unless there was a terror-free environment, Union External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said, "The government of India is committed to resolving all outstanding issues with Pakistan through a peaceful bilateral dialogue in accordance with the Simla Agreement. A third country role cannot be envisaged nor is it necessary. We also believe that a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan can take place only in an environment free from terror or the threat of terror."

The reaction came a day after both Obama and Hu voiced support for the improvement in Indo-Pak ties and their readiness to promote peace and stability in the region, listing the situation in South Asia among regional and global challenges.

The two countries 'support the improvement and growth of relations between India and Pakistan,' and are ready to 'strengthen communication, dialogue and cooperation on issues related to South Asia and work together to promote peace, stability and development in that region,' said the joint statement, issued at the conclusion of the talks between the two leaders.

US ambassador to India Timothy J Roemer, meanwhile, described as a 'positive statement' the mention of Indo-Pakistan relations in the US-China joint statement.

"I have not really taken a close look at the joint statement at this point. The two countries (US and China) have said they would work for a more stable and peaceful relationship between the countries in South Asia. I think that is a very positive statement to make," he said.

Roemer said this at a press conference here when his attention was drawn to the discomfort in India over the mention of its relationship with Pakistan in the US-China joint statement. The envoy went on to add that the US is 'trying to make sure there is a prosperous and peaceful rise of China' and 'at the same time have historic close relations between the United States and India.'

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