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‘No US mediation on Kashmir’

world Updated: Jun 21, 2009 00:46 IST

Firmly ruling out any US mediation on the Kashmir issue, President Barack Obama has said that dialogue between India and Pakistan — “maybe not starting with Kashmir” — is the best way to reduce tensions between them.

Describing both India and Pakistan as “great friends” of the US, he said Washington wants to be “helpful” in that process and can’t dictate to them how they should resolve their differences.

“I believe 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,” Obama said in an interview to Dawn TV.

Obama’s answer was in reply to a question on why his administration has been silent on Kashmir, after initially listing it on its agenda.