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Washington says missile test not provocative

August 12, 2005

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WASHINGTON, Aug 11: The US State Department said on Thursday that Pakistan’s latest missile test was neither threatening nor provocative. Commenting on the test hours after Pakistan confirmed that it had a test-fired its first nuclear-capable cruise missile, State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said: “It’s important to us that actions by states on the subcontinent are done in ways that aren’t provocative, in ways that aren’t threatening. (And) I think that by all accounts, that test met that criterion.”

When a reporter asked how the US would view the test in the backdrop of its changing policies in South Asia, Mr Ereli enquired what changes the reporter was referring to. The reporter said he was referring to the Indo-US deal signed during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s July 18 visit to the White House.

“That’s an evolution of a close relationship,” said Mr Ereli.

Asked how the Pakistani test met the criterion of not being provocative or threatening, Mr Ereli said: “My understanding was that it was done in a way that was not alarming, that was not a surprise.”