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White House consoles Pakistan, China over Indo-US ties

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White House Consoles Pakistan, China Over Indo-US Ties. Recent efforts by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to strengthen...

Washington: Recent efforts by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to strengthen India US relationship, is "not necessarily to counterweight anyone," the White House has said, rejecting apprehensions in this regard coming from China and Pakistan.

It also said, both Pakistan and China figured in the talks between Obama and Modi, when the two leaders met in New Delhi last week.

The efforts to strengthen India US relationship, is "not necessarily to counterweight anyone," Phil Reiner, senior director South Asia Affairs at the National Security Council of the White House, told reporters here.

"I don't think either the US or India has an interest in any kind of confrontation or much less any sort of intent to contain China. That's not the intent," he said when asked about apprehension about India-US relationship appearing in the Chinese media after Obama's India visit.

"The intent here is to work together... to work off of the core values that we have to build India up. This is something that we're very much interested in doing, and it's in both of our interests to do so. I would not necessarily put that forward, though, as a counterweight to China per se," the White House official said.

He said the United States has made it very clear that it can maintain robust relationships with both countries and that it's not zero-sum.

"I think we have a very positive and increasingly positive relationship with Pakistan on a number of levels both in the civilian and economic and development domain as well as the security domain. That does not imperil any efforts that we are undertaking with the Indian Government or the Indian people, and vice versa. I think it's something that we can do at the same time," Reiner stressed.

Reiterating that the US encourages dialogue between the two South Asian neighbours, Reiner said Obama and Modi did discuss regional issues including Pakistan and Afghanistan. "The two leaders have maintained a consistent dialogue on the region, and of course, that includes Pakistan, it includes Afghanistan," he said.

"I think it was a very positive conversation about the small steps that we may have seen, so for instance, for Republic Day, Nawaz Sharif issued a letter to the Prime Minister. I think this is one of those small things that we can look to that is necessary in order to create the space for re-engagement on dialogue," he said.

"Prime Minister Modi points to the two minutes of silence that they observed in India after the horrific attacks in Peshawar. I think there's a number of these smaller steps that are being taken that'll create that space so that the two can begin to re-engage. This is something that the United States very much supports," Reiner said.

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