Wednesday, June 9, 2010

U.S. would never be soft on terrorism.

Mr. Blake further noted, “We take extremely seriously the threats against both of our countries because we believe increasingly that there is a syndicate that is operating in countries like Pakistan that threatens both of our countries.”
This syndicate of terror networks also threatens Pakistan itself, he added, noting that it was “in the interests of all three countries to address this very critical problem, to work together”.
Mr. Blake also emphasised that the U.S. had been at “the forefront of countries urging Pakistan to not only continue the progress it has been making in Swat and South Waziristan, but also to address the problem in the Punjab, namely the Punjab-based groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, that are operating against India, that have also targeted the U.S., in the Mumbai bombings and elsewhere.”

He said this would remain a “very, very high priority for us, and you should not doubt the sincerity of that statement”.

On India’s work in Afghanistan he said, “We have welcomed the very important role India has played so far. It is really up to India to decide where it wants to take its cooperation but we commend the steps it has taken so far and we had a discussion on ways that we might be able to cooperate together.” He added that such joint projects may be a promising new area of cooperation between the two countries.



New sanctions are crucial.

"I do not think we have lost the opportunity to stop the Iranians from having a nuclear weapon, developing nuclear weapons," Gates said. "I think that the clock is ticking."

"One of the many benefits of a resolution is that it will provide a legal platform for individual nations to then take additional actions that go well beyond the resolution itself," Gates said. "And I believe a number of nations are prepared to act pretty promptly."

Also speaking to reporters, British Defense Secretary Liam Fox said that if Iran develops nuclear weapons, it could set off a nuclear arms race in the Mideast.

"After all the sacrifices that both our countries [Britain and the United States] made getting us to the end of the Cold War, limiting nuclear proliferation and having just celebrated last year 20 year since the fall of the Berlin Wall, we surely want to do more than leave the next generation a legacy of a new nuclear arms race in the world's most unstable region," Fox said.

Gates expressed hope that diplomacy and pressure will persuade Iran that nuclear weapons will not enhance, but undermine its security.