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US only a facilitator between India and Pakistan

world Updated: Jan 22, 2010 14:51 IST

Categorically dismissing Islamabad's repeated request to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir issue, the White House has said that it can at the most have a facilitator's role, but would encourage leaders of the two countries to engage themselves in reducing tension in the region.

"We have said clearly that we are not interested in mediating in Kashmir. That is not our role," Mike Hammer, White House spokesman, told PTI in an interview on Thursday.

"I would say that the United States is not seeking any mediation role on the issue of Kashmir and we basically leave it to the parties to address the of course difficult, historical issue," he said.

"Our’s is really a facilitating role in which we want to encourage both parties to engage with each other and to ensure that going forward there is a peaceful relationship between the two countries," Hammer said.

This is what US President Barack Obama discussed with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when the two leaders met in November and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari, he said, adding in his meetings, Obama discussed the importance of two of them having a dialogue and having an ability to communicate in working to reduce any potential tensions.

In the year gone by, Hammer said this is what the Obama Administration has seen on a couple of occasion between the two countries, in an apparent reference to the meetings between Indian Prime Minister with Pakistani President and Prime Minister and meeting between Indian and Pakistan Foreign Ministers.