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Relationship with China not at the expense of India: US

November 18, 2009 22:00 IST

Amid concerns in India over the reference to the Indo-Pak ties in a US-China joint statement, the Obama Administration on Wednesday said its relationship with China is not at the "expense of" India and that nothing much should be read into the document.

"Of course, the United States is interested in perusing the best and healthiest possible partnership with China; but that does not come at the expense of other increasingly important partnership, particularly our relationship with India," Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Bill Burns said in response to a question at an interaction in Washington.

He was asked about concerns in India over the reference to improving Indo-Pak relationship in the US-China joint statement issued at the end of the visit of US PresidentBarack Obama to China. "The reference in the joint US-China statement with regard to common international concerns, collective concerns about Afghanistan is particular, I think is a very straight forward expression of that we look to China, we look to India, as many other countries in the world, to contribute to stability in Afghanistan," Burns said, adding that the US welcomes India's contribution in Afghanistan.

Ruling out any US mediation in the Indo-Pak peace process, he said it is for India and Pakistan to decide on the "scope, content and pace" of the peace process.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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