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US wants India, Pakistan to talk on Kashmir

world Updated: Jul 08, 2009 10:58 IST

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Calling Kashmir as a "sensitive hotspot", President Barack Obama's nominee to be his envoy in India says the US would diplomatically encourage India and Pakistan to talk about the "delicate and sensitive issue".

"I think it is an issue. It's a delicate and sensitive issue," the nominee, Timothy Roemer told the Senate Foreign Relations panel Tuesday in response to a question from the top Republican on the panel, Dick Lugar about the US role on the Kashmir problem.

"It's one that - we would diplomatically encourage that the Pakistanis and the Indians first of all improve their relationship, their ties, their trade, their exchanges, to foster peace and more prosperity in that area between their two countries," he said.

"Secondly, I think it's important to try to make sure that, where we can, in front of the scenes, behind the scenes, through diplomatic channels, encourage them to talk about this issue and hopefully resolve it between their two countries," Roemer said.

"I think it has been an extremely sensitive hotspot for the world and for the region, where we've almost experienced thermonuclear war on several occasions," said the former lawmaker who was the president of the Centre for National Policy (CNP), a Washington, DC-based national security think tank at the time of his nomination.

"So, again, just as the Pakistan-India negotiations and relationship is an important one to the president (Obama), the secretary (of State Hillary Clinton), this is also a delicate and important one."