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Obama says US to be engaged in delicate diplomacy, hopeful of Pakistan cooperation


Washington : President-elect Barack Obama on Monday said the United States will be engaged in “very delicate diplomacy” with regard to situation in South Asia following last week’s Mumbai attacks and sounded confident that the Pakistani government would follow its commitment to cooperate with the investigation.

Obama, who unveiled his top national security team in Chicago, said he has been closely following the situation in the aftermath of the attacks.

“We are going to be engaged in some very delicate diplomacy in the next several days and weeks,” said Obama, who assumes presidential powers on January 20, 2009.

At the same time, he reiterated that the U.S. has one president at a time.

“I would be monitoring the situation closely, thus far I think the (George Bush) administration has done what is needed and try to get details of the situation and my expectation is that President (Asif Ali) Zardari of Pakistan, who has already said he will fully cooperate with the investigation, will follow through that commitment.”

He reiterated his incoming administration’s resolve to curb extremism with a comprehensive approach, combining security, political, diplomatic and economic elements.

“What I can say unequivocally is that both myself and my team that stands beside me are absolutely committed to eliminating the threat of terrorism and that is true wherever it is found. We cannot tolerate a world in which innocents are being killed by extremists based on twisted ideologies. And we are going to bring the full force of our power not only military but also diplomatic, political and economic to deal with those threats not only to keep Americans safe but also to ensure that peace and prosperity can exist around the world.”

Obama said he has spoken to the Indian Prime Minister and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has briefed him about the situation.