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US sees no mediatory role for India in Afghanistan

Wednesday October 05, 2011 07:32:13 PM, Arun Kumar, IANS

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Washington: The United States has welcomed the strategic partnership agreement between India and Afghanistan, but said it was not looking for any mediatory role for New Delhi in the peace process in Afghanistan.

Washington considered the US-Pakistan-Afghanistan trilateral talks structure of value and favoured its continuance, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters Tuesday when asked if the US saw any role for India in the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

Referring to reports about a strategic partnership between India and Afghanistan and India's likely participation in the New Silk Road Initiative, she said: "Those are both things that we very much welcome."

"With regard to playing a mediating role, I don't think that's what we're looking for here," Nuland said. "We do believe this trilateral structure is of value and we should continue it."

Washington also supported "any and all warming between Pakistan and India", Nuland said. "We've been strong supporters of the dialogues that the two governments have been having."

Asked if India had asked the US to help bring to justice perpetrators of the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in Pakistan and D-company head Dawood Ibrahim, she said: "Well, I think now that India and Pakistan have renewed their bilateral talks, I would expect that this is a subject between them."

On reports that Pakistan had announced plans to hold a dialogue for reconciliation with all terrorist organisations, all Taliban factions, including Haqqani Network, on the Pakistani side, Nuland said: "Our position on reconciliation is that if you're going to reconcile, you've got to meet these criteria."

"Our hope would be that those are the same criteria that would be expected in this instance. But if there's a chance to make those clearer, that's a good thing," she added.

The key conditions set by the Obama administration for Taliban leaders seeking reconciliation with Kabul are a pledge to stop fighting, to end support for Al Qaeda, and to abide by the Afghan constitution.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at






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