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Trump could play role to defuse Pak-India tension: US envoy

UNITED NATIONS:  The United States will try to de-escalate tensions between India and Pakistan without waiting till “something happens”, says US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

In an interaction with reporters, Haley said President Donald Trump could play a role in such endeavours.

“It’s absolutely right that this administration is concerned about the relationship between India and Pakistan and very much wants to see how we de-escalate any sort of conflict going forward,” he said, signalling an apparent change in the US stance of not engaging in Indo-Pak disputes. Ms Haley said she expects that the administration is going to be in talks and try and “find its place to be a part of that (de-escalating tensions)”.

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“We don’t think, we should wait till something happens,” she said while addressing a press conference after assuming the role of President of the Security Council for the month of April. She made the remarks when asked if the US can make any efforts to get India and Pakistan together for peace talks as tensions between the two neighbouring countries have risen.

“We very much think that we should be proactive in the way that we are seeing tensions rise and conflicts start to bubble up and so we want to see if we can be a part of that,” Ms Haley said. “So I think that will be something that you will see members of the National Security Council participate in, but also wouldn’t be surprised if the President participates in that as well,” she said.

The remarks are the first time that Ms Haley, as a member of the Trump Cabinet, has addressed tensions between India and Pakistan. The previous administration under President Barack Obama had maintained that it was a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.

The US had also said that it was for India and Pakistan to determine the pace, scope and character of talks.

On talks with Pakistan, India has ruled out any third party mediation, including by the UN or the US. Pakistan, on the other hand intends to have interlocutors from both the world body as well as from Washington to resolve the Kashmir issue.



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