Kerry Announces US-India-Afghanistan Talks

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Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that the United States would launch trilateral talks with India and Afghanistan at next month’s United Nations meetings in New York.

According to the Times of India, Kerry, who addressed a press conference in New Delhi with India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, categorically called on Pakistan to take concrete steps to fight terrorism arising from within its border.

This was a marked change from decades of America’s dogmatic refusal to take sides in the India – Pakistan relationship, reported the Times of India.

Kerry said the perpetrators of attacks on Indian soil – in Mumbai in 2008 and at the Pathankot airbase last January – should be brought to justice.

“We cannot and will not make distinctions between good and bad terrorists,” Kerry said. “Terror is terror no matter where it comes from, (or) who carries it out.”

Kerry urged Pakistan to join other nations in tackling terrorism, and said Islamabad should not feel isolated by planned trilateral talks between the United States, India and Afghanistan.

“It is vital that Pakistan join with other nations in fighting this challenge,” Kerry told a news conference, saying he had been in touch with Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders on terrorism and noting progress in counter-terrorism operations in the west of the country.

“My hope is that Pakistan as a country is not isolated by this, but is encouraged by this,” Kerry said, referring to the planned US-India-Afghan talks that would be held at the annual UN meetings in New York.

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