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India's missile tests not discussed: Kasuri

india Updated: Jul 11, 2006 13:44 IST

The testing of the Agni III missile by India did not come up for discussion between visiting Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri and the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, even though the focus was on Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, Kasuri said.

"No. We didn't discuss India's missile test, because, we have been conducting our own. And, in the case of Pakistan, we do it when we feel we need it for scientific purposes. No. We did not discuss that," he told reporters after his meeting with Rice on Monday.

Kasuri said the composite dialogue between India and Pakistan and "the need to resolve the issue of Kashmir" did figure in the discussions.

He also played down differences with Washington over Afghanistan maintaining that there was not only a "complete unanimity of views" but the United States also knew what Pakistan was doing.

"There are no differences (between Pakistan and United States), and the US Understands what we are doing," he said.

The Pakistani Foreign Minister is said to have expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the multi-billion dollar F-16s package and the Bush administration's push in Congress for nearly $740 million as the annual instalment of the $3 billion multi-year assistance package.

State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack added that Kasuri and Rice had discussions about the "control" of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and the fact that both Islamabad and Kabul "have a shared interest" in the stability and the security of both the countries.

"The Afghans have an interest in a stable, more prosperous and more secure Pakistan and vice versa. Pakistan has an interest in an Afghanistan that is stable, that is secure and that prospers economically. They have an interest in building up those economic ties from Central Asia down through Afghanistan and Pakistan into India. They talked about that. They talked about the importance of developing that economic infrastructure," said McCormack.

"There are legitimate security issues in southern Afghanistan. The NATO forces and ISAF are working to address them and we hope to enhance that partnership between Afghanistan and Pakistan in fighting what ultimately is a common destabilizing enemy," said McCormack.

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