India - US

Obama urges Pakistan and India to resolve differences

Jason Reed/Reuters
2 min

US President Barack Obama has urged India and Pakistan to talk to resolve their differences as he stressed the need for peace between the neighbours. On a three-day official visit to India, Obama on Sunday showed a certain level of diplomacy when mentioning Pakistan in India.

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The two nuclear-armed rivals are vital for his plans in Afghanistan, and Pakistan is one of the US's main allied in its anti-terror operations.

Speaking to students at the prestigious St Xaviers College in Mumbai, Obama said that he is sure India is the country with the biggest stake in Pakistan.

"If Pakistan is stable and prosperous, taht's best for India," he said.

He said also sent a message to Pakistan saying that Islamabad was making progress against what he views as extremism-- "But not as quickly as we'd like," he said. The message had been delivered before directly through Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

A leading separatist leader in Indian Kashmir today urged the United States to intervene in the disputed Himalyan region.

Hardliner Syad ali Geelani said he was hoping Obama would use his influence to restore the right of self-determination to the people of the state.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, but both countries claim it in full. The dispute has sparked two of three wars between the neighbours since the division of the subcontinent in 1947.

Decades-old UN resolutions call for a referendum in Kashmir to determine the status of the territory, but New Delhi views them as obsolete and is firmly opposed to any outside intervention in the conflict.

Before Obama took office two years ago, he had suggested that the United States could mediate in Kashmir.

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