Omar Abdullah welcomes US President Obama's comments on Kashmir

Srinagar/New Delhi, Nov 8 (ANI): Welcoming US President Barack Obama's comments that the United States cannot provide a solution to the India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir but it can play 'any role' if the two countries so desire, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said that the time had come for Pakistan and separatists in the State to look inwards for a solution.

"President's statement that the US cannot impose a solution was a telling indicator that for resolving the vexed issue of Kashmir, India and Pakistan will have to find a solution that is acceptable to the majority of people of Jammu and Kashmir," said Omar Abdullah.

"Perhaps the time has come for both Pakistan and separatists to look inwards for a solution rather than expect the US to do their jobs for them," he added.

Addressing the joint press conference with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in New Delhi today, President Obama said: " US could not impose a solution on Kashmir."

"Dialogue between India and Pakistan may not begin on the particular flashpoint (Kashmir)," said Obama adding, "I believe that it is in the interest of India and Pakistan to reduce tensions between themselves and the US cannot impose solutions to these problems."

Agreeing that there is a need for all nations in the region to take steps to ensure that there are no safe havens for terrorists, Obama said, "I indicated to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that that I am happy to play any role the two parties may want to reduce tensions between the two countries."

"Both the countries involved hope that conversations will take place to resolve the issue," he added.

Praising Dr. Singh, Obama said: "Manmohan Singh throughout his Prime Ministership has consistently spoken out both privately and publicly on his desire and personal commitment to reducing tensions between India and Pakistan. I very much commend him on that."

"He is sincere and relentless in his desire for peace. So my hope is that both sides can over the next several months or years find mechanisms that are appropriate to work out on these issues," he added. (ANI)

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