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US rules out special envoy to mediate between India, Pakistan

world Updated: Aug 14, 2013 14:16 IST

The US has rejected the idea of appointing a special envoy to resolve differences between India and Pakistan, saying American ambassadors in the two nations have reached out to the host governments to encourage dialogue while ruling out any change in its Kashmir policy.

The US reaction comes in the backdrop of a series of ceasefire violations by the Pakistan Army along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

"I think we can encourage them to have dialogue and to resolve the dispute. But we don't have to do that necessarily with an envoy. I think our ambassadors are very engaged on the ground on this," State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said in response to a question on whether the US would appoint a special envoy, as in the Middle East peace process, to help India and Pakistan resolve the Kashmir issue.

"What that engagement looks like going forward, I don't have a prediction to make for you other than to say, we will continue to encourage both sides to move forward with this dialogue," she said at a press briefing yesterday.

"We are concerned about any violence along the Line of Control. We understand that the governments of India and Pakistan are in contact over these issues. We will continue to encourage further dialogue," she said.

"Our ambassadors in both India and Pakistan have raised these recent incidents with their respective host governments and conveyed our hope that India and Pakistan will continue the steps they have recently taken to improve their bilateral relationship," Harf added.

"Our ambassadors in both India and Pakistan have reached out to their respective governments to convey our hope that they will continue to take steps to build trust and to work together. We of course would encourage any dialogue between the two countries going forward," she said.

The US policy on Kashmir has not changed, she said.

"We still believe that the pace, scope, and character of India and Pakistan's dialogue on Kashmir is for those two countries to determine with each other," Harf said.

"We'll engage when we think it's appropriate, as our ambassadors are doing," she added.