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US denies meddling in India's affairs, says its all diplomacy

world Updated: Dec 18, 2010 12:00 IST

Denying that Washington was interfering in India's internal affairs as alleged by some Indian political parties, the US has said that American diplomats do in India what Indian diplomats do in the US.

While declining to address the substance of India related WikiLeaks cables, State Department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters on Friday: "We are building a strategic partnership with India. We have significant engagement on a variety of issues with both India the government and the people."

"Our diplomats do what diplomats do, and that - what we do in a country like India is no different than what Indian diplomats do in our country," he added.

In reply to another question on the US position on Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India signing an agreement to build a gas pipeline, the spokesman said: "We are pleased with the initial agreements that have been signed on the TAPI project."

"It is important to remember that pipelines are long-term projects with long-term horizons, and that the immense effort involved could produce long-term benefits for Turkmenistan and the region.

"TAPI's route may serve as a stabilising corridor, linking neighbours together in economic growth and prosperity. The road ahead is long for this project, but the benefits could be tremendous," he said.

Focus on India