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John Kerry announces US-India-Afghanistan trilateral talks

Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that the United States would launch trilateral talks with India and Afghanistan at next month’s United Nations meetings in New York after strategy talks in New Delhi.

Kerry, addressing a news conference, also denounced terrorism and said the perpetrators of attacks on Indian soil – in Mumbai in 2008 and at the Pathankot airbase last January – should be brought to justice.

“We cannot and will not make distinctions between good and bad terrorists,” Kerry said. “Terror is terror no matter where it comes from, (or) who carries it out.”

India accuses Pakistan of responsibility for both attacks. Pakistan is trying suspects in the Mumbai attacks, in which 166 people died. Investigations into this year’s airbase attack have so far been inconclusive.

Kerry urged Pakistan to join other nations in tackling terrorism, and said Islamabad should not feel isolated by planned trilateral talks between the United States, India and Afghanistan.

“It is vital that Pakistan join with other nations in fighting this challenge,” Kerry told a news conference, saying he had been in touch with Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders on terrorism and noting progress in counter-terrorism operations in the west of the country.

“My hope is that Pakistan as a country is not isolated by this, but is encouraged by this,” Kerry said, referring to the planned US-India-Afghan talks that would be held at the annual UN meetings in New York.

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