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Bush:  Progress Seen in India-Pakistan Diplomacy - 2002-06-11

U.S. President George W. Bush says progress is being made in efforts to ease tensions between India and Pakistan. But the president makes clear while things are getting better, frictions remain.

The president said the situation has improved, and diplomacy appears to be working. "We have made progress in defusing a very tense situation," he said.

He cited efforts by a number of countries to reach out to the leaders of Pakistan and India, and convince them war would be a disaster. But while the president seemed heartened by the results so far, he noted troops are still massed and people are still hostile toward each other.

"There is always a threat something could happen," said President Bush. "But I am pleased with the progress we have made, and we will continue to work the issue."

Mr. Bush spoke as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld headed to the region. During a stopover in Qatar, Mr. Rumsfeld said there have been hopeful signs, noting Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has made a firm commitment to crack down on Pakistani-based Islamic militants fighting Indian rule in the disputed Kashmir region.