WASHINGTON, April 9 : The United States on Monday welcomed the positive outcome of the weekend meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, saying improved engagement between the two South Asian neighbours will help foster more security and stabilityin the region.
“We are very pleased that Prime Miniser Singh and President Zardari had a chance to meet in New Delhi yesterday and that Prime Minister Singh has accepted President Zardari’s invitation to visit Pakistan in the near future,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.
The meeting in the Indian capital between the leaders of the two nuclear powers took place during President Zardari’s private visit to a revered sufi saint’s shrine in the Indian city of Ajmer.
“As we have said for a long time, we believe that expanded and improved engagement between these neighbours are not only going to help the (two) neighbours, they are going to help the entire region and provide opportunities for millions of citizens in the neighbourhood to live in a more secure and stable region,” the spokesperson said at the daily briefing.
Washington, she said, appreciates the hopeful trend in Pakistan-India engagement towards improved bilateral relations.
“So we applaud the trend. We hope that India and Pakistan are going to build on this progress and we look forward to more such meetings.”
President Zardari’s visit to India was the first by a Pakistani leader in seven years as the two countries look to overcome decades-old acrimonious environment and make progress on longstanding security issues including Kashmir, terrorism, water issues and bilateral trade.
Source: MGCT, US Department of State. By Ali Imran