No change in Kashmir position: US

Washington: The US today said there has not been any change in its position on Kashmir which remains a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, as it ruled out any role for itself in the revival of Indo-Pak talks.

“The tensions in the region are significant. We recognise that, and we believe it’s important for leaders of both countries to resume this dialogue and the discussion and to try to come to some resolution,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby told reporters at his daily news conference.

“What we’ve said, particularly with the tension in Kashmir, is that our position has not changed, that this is an issue that India and Pakistan need to resolve,” Kirby said.

He was responding to questions on talks between the national security advisors of India and Pakistan that were called off by Islamabad at the last moment.

“We were encouraged by the constructive interaction. The early constructive interaction between the leaders of India and Pakistan earlier this year in Russia,” Kirby said.

“We are disappointed that the talks didn’t happen. We just encourage India and Pakistan to resume a formal dialogue soon,” he said.
Kirby reiterated that it is for the leaders of the two countries to decide on the pace and scope of the peace talks.

“These are issues for the two to resolve together, and that’s what we continue to encourage is a resumption of dialogue between the leaders of both India and Pakistan,” he said.

“We want both nations to sit down and hammer out the issues between them. Some of them have to do with violent extremism and some of them don’t. We understand that, but these are issues that the two parties have got to work out,” he added.

Making it clear that US’ position about terrorism and the threat that it continues to pose around the world remains the same, Kirby said the United States will stay committed to countering violent extremism using all the elements of national power and international cooperation that it can.

“When it comes to countering terrorism around the world, obviously the United States plays a role and we want everybody to play a role in that, but when you’re asking me about these particular tensions, we’re disappointed that the talks didn’t occur and we would like to see them resume,” Kirby said.