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Recent Strategic Partnership Deal Between India and Afghanistan

The United States welcomed the strategic partnership agreements between
India and Afghanistan announced during the New Delhi visit of the Afghan
President, Hamid Karzai, a US official said.

The
US State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, said she would first
say that they were seeing the same reports that India and Afghanistan
would soon announce a strategic partnership that India was going to
participate in the new Silk Road Initiative.

“Those
are both things that we very much welcome,” she said in response to a
question. She however, refused to answer to questions about news reports
of meetings between the US and Haqqani leaders.
“I
will say to you again what we’ve been saying for some two weeks very
firmly with regard to the Haqqani network: Job one in our relationship
with Pakistan is for us to work on the terror and the problem that they
are posing to Pakistan, to the US, to Afghanistan,” she said.

“The
only other thing I would say here is it’s patently ridiculous to think
that the American government would be dictating to any other government
who should or shouldn’t join its ranks,” she said, noting the US was not
in the business of dictating to other governments who should and
shouldn’t be a member of their ranks.
Nuland
said there had not been any change in the US position on
reconciliation. It was supporting an Afghan-led process of
reconciliation trend. So the US’s efforts were in support of what the
Afghans were up to, insisting, as did the Afghans, that anybody who was
reconciled or would be pursuing reconciliation had to renounce violence,
she added.

They had to sever their ties
with al-Qaida and abide by the laws and the constitution of Afghanistan,
including respecting the rights of women and ethnic minorities, she
said.
These were our and the Afghans’
criteria, but she did not comment on any specific conversations that
were going on under that umbrella, added Nuland who concluded that those
were the criteria that they required and so did the Afghans.

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