State Department Noon Briefing


MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2000 12:40 P.M.

Q: Staying in South Asia, the Pakistani reportedly have made an offer
in Kashmir to support that the Kashmiri - all parties agree at
conference should hold independent talks with India without Pakistan,
and that they have dropped their demand, apparently, that they should
be included; it should only be three-party talks, which appears to be
kind of a major step.

MR. BOUCHER: I had not seen that actual step. That may be more recent
than what we had. Clearly we have supported a dialogue, as you know,
in the region. There have been positive developments. The Government
of Pakistan has reiterated its intention to exercise maximum restraint
along the line of control in Kashmir, and we certainly welcome that.

We have been calling for restraint and respect for the line of control
for some time. Pakistan's affirmation of that principle is an
important complement to the suspension of the offensive military
operations that was announced by India last week. So that is certainly
a welcome development in that regard.

We have strongly favored a resumption of dialogue between India and
Pakistan and our belief that India, Pakistan and all residents of the
Kashmir region have to be part of the solution. So we do support
dialogue in the region. But how, where and when to conduct this
dialogue is really up to the participants to determine.

Q: I don't know if somebody asked or not about Pakistan is buying
military equipment, including fighter planes from China, and also they
are saying that they do not really care about the new sanctions by
Washington; they can live without them.


Q: Any comment on buying new --

MR. BOUCHER: No, I don't have any updates on Pakistani weapons
acquisitions. I don't think there is anything new to say on that. The
point of the agreement with China on missiles is that China would not
export in any way to any country equipment that supported the
development of advanced missiles.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:15 P.M.)