June 2002 News

US is ''facilitator'' not ''mediator'', says Powell

13 June 2002
The Daily Excelsior

Washington DC: Ruling out American mediation in Kashmir, Secretary of State Colin Powell sees the US role as that of a ''facilitator'' as the issue can be resolved only by the two countries themselves. ''... I think that the US, working with our international partners as we have in this current crisis, we can play a role in facilitating a dialogue between the two sides. And I have commited to them that we would stay engaged ... And that is our intention,'' he told reporters. Speaking to correspondents aboard his plane en route back to Washington from Canada and at a press conference in Canada, Powell reaffirmed that there will be no American mediation on Kashmir. ''I have told President Pervez Musharraf and I have told External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, and the President (George W Bush), I think, has also communicated in his conversations, that we do plan to stay engaged. ''We just don’t want to see an end to the current crisis and then wait for the same problem to raise the crisis again at some point in the future. So we will stay engaged.'' Powell said the ''principal role we will be playing is a facilitator of dialogue. We don’t intend to mediate'', adding the issue can only be resolved between the two parties. ''To the extent that we now have, frankly, excellent relations—US to Pakistan and US to India,'' he said.


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