Indo-Pak Talks Positive, U.S. Says


WASHINGTON, July 28 (UPI) — Regardless of the outcome, any dialogue between India and Pakistan is viewed as constructive by Washington, a U.S. State Department official said.

New Delhi hosted bilateral talks with Pakistani officials this week. Both sides agreed to modest concessions on trade initiatives in Kashmir, a source of contention between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

Though both sides emerged with few concrete results, leaders from both countries said their relationship was moving in the right direction.

Mark Toner, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said during his regular briefing that Washington saw any contact between Islamabad and New Delhi as constructive.

“Always a positive step, always a productive or constructive in our view to see the two countries talking,” he said. “And it’s constructive for the region. It’s constructive for both those countries.”

The talks followed a triple bombing in Mumbai that Indian officials said were meant to derail the talks. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in New Delhi the week after the July 19 attack, though Toner said Washington didn’t have a role in the Indo-Pak talks.

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