India, Pak meeting good for the region: US

Written by: Teronpi
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Washington, Apr 29: As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani are bracing up for their meeting, the United States has said that crucial meeting would be good for the region.

Singh and Gilani are scheduled to meet in Bhutan on Apr 29 on the sidelines of the Saarc Summit.

"We have encouraged the leaders of Pakistan and India, to restore, direct dialogue that has been characteristic of the relation between those two countries within the last few years. We"re encouraged that they are taking steps to do that," Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs PJ Crowley told reporters.

"I think we always think that when leaders of countries, you know, particularly countries with the history of -- the unique history of India and Pakistan -- any time they can get together for high-level, constructive dialogue, that is good for the region, and we support it," Crowley said in response to a question.

Crowley said that United States has always encouraged the countries to engage in talks, adding US has its own strategic dialogue with both India and Pakistan and is expected to hold its next round of discussions with India in the coming weeks.

"You know, there have been significant steps by both countries, restore dialogue, both at the leader level and lower levels, and we certainly encourage that," Crowley said.

On Saarc summit, Crowley said the summit is one of a number of important structures that could be there, across the broader Asia region. United States has sent Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake for the summit as an observer.

"We think they"re important. We encourage them. And, as you see, both with, Secretary Blake"s appearance at the SAARC, you know, the secretary is committed to strengthen the United States" ties to other structures, like ASEAN, this is an indication of our ongoing and deepening commitment to the region," Crowley said.

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