India to play important role in South Asia: US

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{image-Sean McCormack_04102008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Washington, Oct 4: US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack has said that India is going to play a very important role, along with a number of other countries in the South Asia region, whether it is politics or economics or energy.

Asked if there is any prospect of a nuclear deal similar to that with India being concluded with Pakistan, McCormack replied, "At the moment, I'm not aware of a contemplation of a similar such deal at this time with Pakistan." He said that while some other countries may seek similar deals, India's case "we believed was unique in the respect of a long history of Indian behaviour that was there for all to see." McCormack said in the most recent meeting with Rice, the Pakistani side had not brought up the subject.

He also confirmed that Rice would travel to India and Kazakhstan from October 3 to 5. In India, she will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, opposition leader L K Advani, and other Indian leaders.

They will discuss a wide range of issues, including the US-India nuclear deal, trade, counterterrorism, human rights, religious freedom, and education.

Earlier, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said: "The US-India 123 Agreement reflects the transformation of our relations and recognition of India's emergence... The agreement bolsters our partnership with the world's largest democracy and a growing economic power, and will provide economic and job opportunities for our economy."

ANI

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