Ambassador Roemer Says US Will Ensure LeTís Defeat

30 November 2009
Times of India


New Delhi: Describing PM Manmohan Singh's state visit to the US as a 'watershed moment in the course of our amazing relationship', US ambassador Timothy Roemer on Monday asserted that India and US would together not just ensure that the 26-11 accused in Pakistan were brought to justice but also defeat groups like LeT. Roemer, who was present in the meeting last week between President Barack Obama and PM Manmohan Singh, also ruled out any mediation by the US in the Kashmir issue saying bilateral relations between the two countries would only be determined by them and not by any outside country. 'The US believes that bilateral relations between Pakistan and India will be determined by the two countries, and not by us or any outside interest or any other country,' Roemer said. The remarks came close on the heels of repeated calls by Pakistan to the US to use its influence with India to ensure resumption of the composite dialogue process. It was for India and Pakistan to resolve issues, whatever they were - border or any other - Roemer said. To a question, he said the US felt 'very strongly' that the seven suspects arrested by Pakistan for their involvement in 26-11 terror attacks should be convicted and prosecuted. 'They had a very fruitful exchange of thoughts about working together to make sure that Pakistan effectively prosecutes the seven suspects caught... that is something the US feels very strongly about and that they will pursue these seven suspects (prosecution),' Roemer said. On Obama's letter to his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari reportedly asking Islamabad to shed its policy of 'using insurgents' like LeT as a strategic tool, the ambassador refused to give details saying it was for the president to talk about it. On the FBI team's visit to India next week, the ambassador said after the Mumbai attacks, 'the agency continues to develop trust and confidence with the Indian government'. 'They are not only testifying but also bringing a lot of expertise forward and tracking information, DNA that was very useful to India,' he said. Talking about the counter-terrorism MoU signed during Singh's visit, he said the 'blood thirsty' terrorists were not a threat to the region alone but for the world as a whole. He said with the MoU in place, the two countries were in for unprecedented intelligence sharing. The envoy also talked about the joint India-US counter-terrorism cooperation initiative, which draws up 20 points on cooperation, from capacity building, forensic labs, mega city policing and also maritime and amphibious capability. 'President Obama talked at length about Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy and expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister and people of India for economic support,' Roemer said, adding that Obama also 'welcomed the Prime Minister's views' on the war-torn country.