US to support expansion of Indo-Pak commercial ties: Rice

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The US strongly supports efforts by India and Pakistan to expand bilateral trade and commercial ties as it will help in broadening support base for normalisation of their relationship, a top American official said on Saturday.

“When it comes to promoting regional stability, the US strongly supports efforts by India and Pakistan to expand their trade and commercial ties,” US National Security Advisor Susan Rice said in her address to the Aspen Institute India- US Dialogue.

“With sustained leadership from both governments, this will not only reap real economic rewards, it will help broaden the base of support for normalisation on both sides of the border,” Rice said.

India, she said, is also essential to America’s broader engagement with Asia, where many of their national interests converge.

“We look forward to enhancing the ways that India’s Look East policy and America’s re-balance to Asia can be mutually reinforcing,” Rice said in her first major policy speech on India.

Rice said the two countries need to strengthen their security cooperation to keep the two nations safe and to address global challenges more effectively.

“Here we’ve made good progress. Later this year, for the first time, India will join the US and countries throughout Asia to participate in the Rim of the Pacific exercise in Hawaii.”