US suspends defence talks with Pakistan

November 14th, 2007 - 8:30 am ICT by admin  
Eric Edelman, the Under Secretary of Defence for Policy, was supposed to lead a US team for talks beginning on Tuesday, but he will not go until political conditions improve, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters.

Morrell is travelling with US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, who also on Monday called for Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to return his country to a constitutional form of government.

“We urge President Musharraf to return his country to a law-based, constitutional and democratic rule as soon as possible,” The News quoted Gates as telling reporters in Beijing.

Gates said Musharraf’s weekend declaration of a state of emergency, and the suspension of the constitution, were “disturbing”.

Gates is monitoring the fast-developing situation in Pakistan,even as the Pentagon said that the declaration of state of emergency in that country would not affect U.S. military support to Islamabad.

“Pakistan is a very important ally in the war on terror and he is closely following the developments there,” Morrell told reporters.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is taking the administration’s lead in dealing with the situation, Morrell said.

He also confirmed that Gates had not spoken to Musharraf and had no plans to. (ANI)

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