Washington, January 25:
The United States supports constructive engagement between India and Pakistan, however, the nature of the talks is for the two countries to decide, said US State Department spokesperson Ned Price on Tuesday in response to a media query on the Kashmir issue.
On being asked about the recent claims of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi who said that if his party comes to power, the autonomy issue on Kashmir will be his first priority, Price during a press briefing on Tuesday said that the US supports a constructive engagement.
“United States supports a constructive engagement between India and Pakistan but the nature of such talks is for the two countries to decide,’ said Ned Price.
Earlier on Monday, in response to a question regarding Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s call for talks with India and New Delhi’s response to the offer, he stated, “We have long called for regional stability in South Asia. That’s certainly what we want to see. We want to see it advanced.”
“When it comes to our partnership, our partnerships with India and Pakistan, these are relationships that stand on their own. We do not see these relationships as zero-sum. They stand on their own,” he added.
Last week, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called for “serious and sincere talks” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resolve outstanding issues. In an interview with Dubai-based Al Arabiya TV, Sharif said that Pakistan has learned its lesson after three wars with India and stressed that now it wants peace with its neighbour.
“My message to the Indian leadership and Prime Minister Modi is that let’s sit down on the table and have serious and sincere talks to resolve our burning points like Kashmir. It is up to us to live peacefully and make progress or quarrel with each other and waste time and resources,” Sharif said.
“We have had three wars with India, and they have only brought more misery, poverty, and unemployment to the people. We have learnt our lesson, and we want to live in peace with India, provided we are able to resolve our genuine problems,” he added.
On the issue of Russian oil, Price further added that the US has made it a point to intentionally not sanction Russian oil and instead subject it to a price cap. The virtue of price cap is that it allows energy markets to continue to be resourced while depriving the mass of the revenue, he said.
“We have made the point that we have very intentionally not sanctioned Russian oil instead it is subject to a price cap. We encourage countries to take advantage of that even if those countries have not formally signed on to the price cap so that they can acquire oil in some cases at steep discounts,” the US State Department spokesperson said during the press briefing.–(ANI)