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Solution to Kashmir issue should be acceptable to all: Bush

By Staff
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WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (UNI) US President George W Bush has said that his country favours a solution to the Kashmir issue ''which is acceptable to all sides''.

''The solution reached on Kashmir must be acceptable to India, Pakistan and those living in Kashmir,'' he said this at a wide-ranging roundtable interview with select Indian and Pakistani journalists at the White House yesterday just a week ahead of his visit to the sub-continent beginning March 1.

Pakistani journalists said that Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has made certain proposals in a bid to resolve the Kashmir issue but India have not responded to them.

They also reiterated that as the bilateral talks on the issue did not make any headway, there was need for a third party intervention, preferably the United States.

However, Mr Bush said: ''Our position is one that says a dispute that has been so long in a nation's history can best be resolved when two nations make the determination to sit down and come up with a solution that is acceptable to all sides.'' He assured the journalists that during his visit to India and Pakistan he would would encourage the India-Pakistan dialogue to go forward.

''I'm convinced that history changes, and as history changes, attitudes can change, circumstances change, and that we have a possibility to see this issue resolved by strong and courageous leaders,'' Mr Bush said.

''So, the role of the United States, in our judgment, is one that will help lead to a settlement that is acceptable to all sides,'' he added.

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