Obama says US won’t play mediator on Kashmir issue

June 20th, 2009 - 3:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama Washington, June 20 (ANI): US President Barack Obama has ruled out any American mediation on Kashmir issue, by saying that bilateral dialogue is the best way to reduce tension between India and Pakistan.

“We want to be helpful in that process, but I don’t think it’s appropriate for us to be the mediators in that process. I think that this is something that the Pakistanis and Indians can take leadership on,” Dawn TV quoted him, as saying.

“I believe that there are opportunities, maybe not starting with Kashmir but starting with other issues, that Pakistan and India can be in a dialogue together and over time to try to reduce tensions and find areas of common interest,” he said.

Responding to a query about why his administration has been silent on Kashmir issue, he said India and Pakistan both were great friends of the Unites States, and his administration didn’t want to dictate terms with both the nations.

“Well, I don’t think that we have been silent on the fact that India is a great friend of the United States and Pakistan is a great friend of the United States, and it always grieves us to see friends fighting. And we can’t dictate to Pakistan or India how they should resolve their differences, but we know that both countries would prosper if those differences are resolved,” Obama said.

On being asked whether India had indicated to resume dialogue with Pakistan, Obama said, “Well, what we have said is that we think that all of South Asia would benefit by reduced tensions between India and Pakistan.”

Obama said the brief meeting between Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari could be seen as a good augur for resumption of dialog between the two neighboring countries.

“I think that dialogue is the best way to reduce tensions. And so, you know, we’re hopeful that Prime Minister Singh and President Zardari — they recently had an opportunity to meet briefly. It wasn’t an extensive conversation but it was the start of what may end up being more productive conversations in the future,” Obama underlined. (ANI)

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