Thursday, February 25, 2010

FP morning post 2/25

India and Pakistan hold first meeting since Mumbai attack

Top story: India and Pakistan held their first talks since the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack today. No formal breakthroughs were achieved, or expected, in the four-hour meeting in New Delhi between Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir, but the two discussed terrorism, the ongoing conflict in Kashmir, and conflicting water claims.

Pakistan has sought the resumption of bilateral peace talks, but India has resisted over complaints that Pakistan is not doing enough to crack down on terror networks or pursue those responsible for the Mumbai siege. Bashir countered that Pakistan "has done everything that was proper and could be done" in response to Mumbai.

When asked if today's meetings would set a road map for future cooperation, Rao replied, "“We are not talking about road maps here. We are talking about staying in touch.”

The Obama administration has urged the two sides to resume talks and has been frustrated that Pakistan's military often seems to prioritize defending its border with India to regaining control of Taliban-dominated areas in the northwest of the country. The Wall Street Journal reports today that the United States has recently expanded weapons transfers to both Pakistan and India.

U.S. politics: President Barack Obama is hosting a televised bipartisan summit on healthcare reform today in Washington.

  • The Afghan government has claimed control over the Taliban stronghold at Marjah, raising the national flag and appointing a local administrator.
  • Pakistan will reportedly hand over captured Taliban No.2 Mullah Abdul Baradar to Afghanistan.
  • China warned the United States against future arms sales to Taiwan.
Middle East
  • Turkish political and military leaders met to discuss a recent alleged coup plot.
  • A top Sunni lawmaker who said last week that he was pulling out of the country's parliamentary election now says he will run.
  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Damascus to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
  • A report from the Organization of American States found that the Venezuelan government routinely violates its citizens' civil rights.
  • Gunmen killed thirteen people in a rural town in Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Pictures showed a healthier-looking Fidel Castro meeting with Brazilian President Lula da Silva.
-By Joshua Keating
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