US hails India's decision to reduce troops in JK

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Admiral Mike Mullen
Washington, Dec 9: A US top military official on Wednesday, Dec 9, welcomed India's decision to reduce troops from Jammu Kashmir.

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, "I really do believe that de-tensioning that (Kashmir) Indo-Pak border is absolutely critical to the long term stability in that region and it is going to take outreach on the part of both countries."

"I am very positively moved by the steps that the Prime Minister (Manmohan) Singh's Government has taken with respect to this," Mullen said.

He was responding to a question when asked about recent decision taken by New Delhi to reduce troops from Jammu and Kashmir and its implications in the region.

"I think that the adjustments that the Indians have proposed, and to the degree that has been executed - I am just not current on the level of execution right now - but certainly executing those changes is a very positive step," Mullen said.

Mullen further said, "I think, the leadership the political leadership, the diplomatic leadership and military leadership in both countries and in the region need to continue to encourage and also to respond."

"In the long-run, resolution of border in the east, in Kashmir, is a very important outcome. Obviously, that is a principal concern to India and Pakistan. But it is a concern to many others in terms of stability of the region. I think that is a key part of what needs to happen in the future," Mullen added.

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