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US Did Play Essential Role In De-Escalating Pakistan-India Tensions

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The United States has played an important role in de-escalating tensions between Pakistan and India as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo led diplomatic engagement directly.

According to State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino, Pompeo spoke with leaders of both the countries, including Indian Minister of External Affairs Swaraj, National Security Advisor Doval, and Pakistan Foreign Minister Qureshi, that led to de-escalation of tensions.

The State Department again urged both the countries to take steps to defuse tensions following the February 14 Pulwama attack. Following Indian incursions into Pakistani airspace and subsequent downing of two Indian aircraft by Pakistan Air Force, tensions have mounted between the two rival nuclear countries.

“Our position – the position of the United States is we continue to urge both sides to continue to take steps to de-escalate the situation, and that includes through direct communication,” Palladino said.

“And we believe strongly that further military activity will exacerbate the situation,” he added.

The spokesperson informed reporters that the US has been in continuous high-level contact with the two countries, with “a lot of private diplomacy going on right now”.

“That’s with both governments via our embassies in New Delhi and Islamabad, as well as with the Indian and Pakistani embassies here in Washington. That has been sustained, that’s been ongoing, and – sometimes we do public diplomacy and sometimes there’s a time for private diplomacy, and there’s a lot of private diplomacy that’s going on right now.”

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