US hails Pakistan's decision to grant MFN status to India

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State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland
Washington, Nov 3: Pakistan's decision to initiate the process of granting Most Favored Nation (MFN) status to India is "a very big deal" and could lead to great economic opportunities between the two countries, the US said on Thursday.

"We don't yet have most favored nation status, but what we do have and we are very pleased to see happen is, we have a decision, unanimously approved by the Pakistani Cabinet, to open a path for full normalization of trade relations with India, as agreed in the meeting between the Indian and Pakistani commerce ministers in Delhi this September, which will, in turn, we hope, lead to most favored nation status," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters.

"This is a very, very big deal, very important; could lead to really great economic opportunities for both India and Pakistan; sets the kind of example within the Silk Road family that we would like to see throughout that region," Nuland said in response to a question on this issue.

"We'd like to see the opening of trade relations because this will bring prosperity to everybody, break down old barriers, really lift all boats in the region and make the region even more vital as a center of global commerce," she said.

The Obama Administration applauds India and Pakistan for this, she said. "We really applaud Pakistan and India for taking this concrete step to improve their relations. It's the most tangible thing that they've done yet."

"Our hope is that the process of normalization in both directions, including getting eventually to full MFN, continues and that there is a reduction in nontariff barriers by India that'll also lead to a full expansion of opportunity. Very exciting," Nuland said.

PTI

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