Srinagar: Union Minister Farooq Abdullah on Monday agreed with US President Barack Obama that only India and Pakistan should resolve the long-standing issue of Kashmir.

"What Obama has said, we knew it right from the beginning...if Kashmir issue is to be resolved, it has to be done by India and Pakistan," Abdullah said here.

He said the Centre has always maintained that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between New Delhi and Islamabad and hence needs to be addressed by the two countries.

The National Conference President, however, expressed disappointment over the delay in resolving the issue.

Ruling out any solution from "outside" to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, Obama had on Sunday underlined that disputes between India and Pakistan can only be resolved by the two countries themselves.
On remarks by the US president about the investment climate in India, Abdullah said Washington wanted New Delhi to open up its insurance and banking sectors for FDI.

"We have some compulsions as India has a coalition government. Some coalition partners do not want these sectors to be opened up for FDI as it will affect their vote bank," he said, lamenting that the parties do not understand that investments were key to India's progress.

"The Prime Minister will have to take harsh steps that will be beneficial for India's progress in the long run," he added.


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