US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday said conditions for talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan had not been met yet, after a spat over a new Taliban office in Qatar threatened to derail peace negotiations.
Kerry was speaking at a joint press conference with Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid in New Delhi.
On the occasion of the fourth edition of the India-US Strategic Dialogue, US Secretary of State John Kerry called upon India to forge better relations with Pakistan’s new government‚ which Washington saw crucial to reducing tension across South Asia.
Kerry defended the National Security Agency’s controversial spying programme, saying it had avoided terrorist acts and saved lives. “There is huge amount of miscommunication about US snooping into e-mails or phone calls,” the US secretary of state added, denying civil liberty violations.
Commenting on Edward Snowden, Kerry called the intelligence whistleblower an indicted felon, adding all appropriate countries had been notified of his status.
“Wonder if Snowden chose Russia or China for assistance because they are such bastions of internet freedom,” Kerry said.
Meanwhile, Khurshid told the reporters that he held discussions on global as well as other strategic issues with Kerry.
Underlining the significance of the Indo-US strategic dialogue, the visiting US secretary of state said he and Khurshid talked about space cooperation, technology and joint ventures, defence, education, agriculture and building health capacity. Kerry also announced that US Vice President Joe Biden would visit India in July to continue talks.
Extending support to India’s economic commitment to Afghanistan, Kerry said both Washington and New Delhi sought a stable and democratic Afghanistan.
Kerry also hailed India as the country equipped to take on some of the biggest challenges of our time.
The duo re-affirmed that India and the US shared common interests in Asia, Indian and PacificOceans.
Kerry also welcomed India’s business heads for CEO forum meeting in the US in July.
Kerry arrived here on Sunday on a three-day visit.
The India-US Strategic Dialogue, inaugurated in 2009, is a forum to discuss the full range of US-India cooperation on bilateral and regional issues, reflecting the strong strategic partnership between the two countries.