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US urges India, Pakistan not to give up on peace

US urges India, Pakistan not to give up on peace

WASHINGTON: Descri­bing the India-Pakistan relationship as “tough and very complicated”, the United States has urged the two neighbours not to give up their pursuit for peace.

At a US State Department briefing on Monday afternoon, spokesman John Kirby said that when Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Jan 9, the two leaders also talked about an expected meeting between Indian and Pakistani foreign secretaries in Islamabad on the 15th.

He said that Secretary Kerry encouraged India and Pakistan to continue their discussions and to try to work through the problems they faced.

“I don’t think they spoke with any great detail or specificity about the next round of talks and what’s on the calendar. But writ large, yes, this was a topic of discussion with the prime minister,” Mr Kirby said.

“We’re committed to that end, to that goal, and we have been for a long time,” said the US official while explaining Washington’s position on promoting peace between India and Pakistan. But “these are tough issues, and these are some very complicated relationships,” he added.

Mr Kirby said that Secretary Kerry and the Pakistani PM talked “a lot about … the pressing need to stay focused on terrorism, not just in Pakistan but in the region.”

Secretary Kerry stressed that it’s obviously in US interest that India and Pakistan continued to look for ways to work better together to reduce the tensions between the two countries, he said.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2016

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