U.S. “very engaged” with India-Pakistan situation: Secretary Pompeo

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Forensic officials inspect the wreckage of a bus after a suicide bomber rammed a car into the bus carrying Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel on Thursday (Feb. 14, 2019) in Lethpora, in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, Feb. 15, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Danish Ismail)

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington is deeply involved in dimming the heightened tension between India and Pakistan following India’s surgical attack on a terrorist camp that New Delhi claimed took out some 200 to 300 militants of Jaish-e-Mohammed, a designated terror group by the U.S.

“We were and continue to be very engaged with the issue between India and Pakistan. I spent a good deal of time on the phone last night talking to leaders in both countries, making sure there was good information exchanged, encouraging each country to not take any action that would escalate and create increased risk,” Pompeo said in a press briefing en route to the Philippines Feb. 28, according to a release from the State Department.

“I had good conversations, and I am hopeful that we can take down the tension there, at least for the time being, so they can begin to have conversations that don’t portend risk of escalation to either of the two countries. So we’re working hard on that,” Pompeo said.

His remarks come on the heels of comments made by President Trump as he wrapped up his visit to Vietnam and headed home, regarding talks with leaders in New Delhi and Islamabad, predicting there would be good news. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the release and return of Indian Air Force officer Abhinandan Varthaman to New Delhi, in what could be seen as a result of behind-the-scenes negotiations by Washington.

 

 

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