US welcomes Manmohan Singh-Zardari meeting

June 17th, 2009 - 11:46 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Washington, June 17 (IANS) The United States has welcomed as “encouraging” a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari in the aftermath of the November Mumbai attacks saying the two countries need to continue their dialogue.
“A resumption of such high-level engagement in the aftermath of the November Mumbai attacks is encouraging,” State Department Spokesman, Ian Kelly told reporters Tuesday when asked to comment on the two leaders’ meeting on the sidelines of the Yekaterinburg summit.

“We have said before that India and Pakistan need to continue their dialogue to find joint solutions against terrorism and to promote regional stability,” he said.

Taking note of media reports of the Manmohan Singh-Zardari meeting on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, Kelly said: “The United States has always welcomed dialogue and better relations between India and Pakistan.”

“But it’s also obvious that the pace, the scope, and the character of that dialogue is something for Indian and Pakistani leaders to decide, he said. “How and when to approach that dialogue is something for them to decide.”

Asked what the US was doing to make sure that Pakistan, its ally in the war on terror, will deliver on the promises to combat terror as demanded by India as a pre-condition for resumption of a dialogue, Kelly parried, saying “I’ll refer you to their own spokesman to comment on that.”

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