Friday, March 18, 2011

The Hindu : News / National : “Our government does not respond to or give comment on these cables”

The Hindu : News / National : “Our government does not respond to or give comment on these cables”

U.S. Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer on Friday refused to comment on the WikiLeaks on India published by The Hindu.

Asked how he would look at the revelations, Mr. Roemer told journalists here that he was not going to comment on the issue.

“On the question of the WikiLeaks, our government does not respond to or give comment on these diplomatic cables. We don't do that in India, Japan or London. We do not do that anywhere in the world, so am not doing that in Srinagar” he said, while winding up his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.

For stronger ties

On bilateral ties, Mr. Roemer exuded confidence that India and the United States would march ahead in many fields and asserted that President Barrack Obama's vision was to have strong ties with India and bring the people together.

Mr. Roemer said he had come here to interact with the people, especially youth who are the leaders of future.

Asked why he avoided meeting separatists, he said: “I met the Chief Minister, who is the elected leader and represented people of Jammu and Kashmir. I had a productive and engaging meeting with him and it is not possible to meet all during this short trip,” he said.

To a question whether the U.S. would help India in the extradition of Avtar Singh, an Army Major accused of killing human rights lawyer Jalil Andrabi in 1995, he said, “I am not going to comment on individual cases.”

Major Avtar recently surfaced in California and he is wanted in the case with a Srinagar court issuing warrants to bring him back.

Mr. Roemer, however, asserted that the U.S. was committed towards the human rights issues.

Earlier, addressing the students of Delhi Public School here, the Ambassador praised Kashmiris for their hospitality. He lauded the students who presented a diverse cultural programme in his honour.

Mr. Roemer said that when he embarked on his journey to take up the assignment in India two years back, President Obama unveiled a vision before him saying that India was a great country.

“His vision is about global partnership between the U.S. and India on non-proliferation, energy and development.”

Quoting Mr. Obama, he said: “President Obama told me to shake hands with every one of over one billion Indians and not only with Prime Minister, MPs and officers and I am trying to do that by travelling through the country.”

Second visit to J&K

The Ambassador also visited the Hazratbal shrine and Shankaracharya temple. He was accompanied by a team of diplomats and officials. This was his second visit to the State. He had visited Leh to help the victims of cloudburst in August.

Keywords: The India Cables, WikiLeaks, Cablegate, Indo-U.S. strategic relationship, Julian Assange

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