New Delhi, September 26
Amid a row over the US envoy to Islamabad visiting Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, US ambassador to India Eric Garcetti on Tuesday said the American delegation has visited Jammu and Kashmir as well for G20 meetings.
Garcetti was reacting to questions on US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome's six-day visit to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) last week.
"It's not my place to react to the US Ambassador in Pakistan but he's been before and we obviously had part of our delegation in Jammu and Kashmir during G20 as well," the American envoy told reporters on the sidelines of the 20th Indo-US Economic Summit.
At the same time, Garcetti made it clear that the Jammu and Kashmir issue has to be resolved bilaterally by India and Pakistan and not by any third party, including the US.
"We'll stay engaged but this is an issue we very religiously know that has to be resolved between India and Pakistan not by any third party including the US," he said.
US Ambassador to Pakistan Blome visited the Gilgit-Baltistan region of PoK and interacted with the locals there, according to a Pakistani media report.
Asked about the standing ovation given to a Nazi war veteran in the Canadian Parliament, Garcetti said: "I think everybody recognises the mistake." He refused to comment on the US sharing intelligence on the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
"It's not my place to speak on another country, Canada. As a matter of business not just this, we don't talk about intelligence or criminal justice matters," Garcetti said.
He said the US cared about both the countries and its relations with New Delhi and Ottawa were strong.
In response to a question, Garcetti said India had extended an invitation to US President Joe Biden to visit New Delhi as chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations, but the schedule was yet to be confirmed.
"There is an invitation that has been extended. Schedule not confirmed yet," Garcetti said.
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