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Ties not Chinese checkered

Asserting that US has an equally important relationship with India as that with Beijing, a top Obama Administration official has said there is no need for New Delhi to be concerned over the reference to the Indo-Pak ties in a US-China joint statement.

world Updated: Nov 20, 2009 00:33 IST

Asserting that US has an equally important relationship with India as that with Beijing, a top Obama Administration official has said there is no need for New Delhi to be concerned over the reference to the Indo-Pak ties in a US-China joint statement.

“I don’t think there needs to be any concern in India about what the president said in China. We have very important relations with China. But we have equally important relations with India,” the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, told reporters at a news briefing.

And I think that will come out very clearly during the course of the Prime Minister’s visit next week he told reporters at a news briefing.

Welcoming China’s interest in helping to stabilise the Afghanistan and Pakistan region, Blake said the Obama Administration believe that China has important equities, particularly in Afghanistan, where they have very significant investments.

“As with most of the other countries in the world, we welcome China’s participation in helping to stabilise that very important part of the region,” he said.

As for Indo-Pak relationship, Blake reiterated the view point of the Obama Administration that it is for India and Pakistan to decide on the substance, scope and pace of their relationship. “We’ve always said, in terms of Indo-Pakistan relations, that’s really up to India and Pakistan to decide how and when and the scope of that,” he added.

The Obama administration wants India to lift the cap in both defence and insurance sectors, a top US official said. “One thing that I think the Indian government could do would be to lift the cap on foreign equity in Indian defence firms, from 26 per cent to 49 per cent,” Blake told reporters.

Blake said there will be a announcement about sort of a new framework in trade after the US-India summit in Washington next week.