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Obama for India, Pakistan talks

world Updated: Jun 21, 2009 23:44 IST
Arun Kumar

President Barack Obama would like India and Pakistan to have a dialogue to resolve their differences, but the US cannot dictate how they should go about it or mediate in the process.

“I believe that 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 told Pakistan’s Dawn group in an interview published Sunday.

“And we want to be helpful in that process, but I don’t think it’s appropriate for us to be the mediators in that process,” he said according to the transcript.

Asked why he or his administration had dropped the “K word” — Kashmir — from his statements after mentioning it in his inaugural speech, Obama said: “I don’t think that we’ve been silent on the fact that India is a great friend of the US and Pakistan is a great friend of the US, and it always grieves us to see friends fighting.