Washington: The US on Monday said it was hopeful that the SAARC summit in Maldives would be "productive" amid an atmosphere of improved relationship between Pakistan and India.
   
"We are hoping that this'll be a very good and productive SAARC meeting, coming as it does right on the heels of new statements and new moves by India and Pakistan, in particular, to improve their trade relations," said Victoria Nuland, the State Department spokesperson.
   
She told reporters at her daily news conference that the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) meet in Maldives this week comes after the Silk Road neighborhood event in Istanbul, "where all the neighbours of Afghanistan came forward in support for Afghanistan, as well as increased trade links among them."
   
"So we're hopeful it'll be a productive meeting," she said in response to a question about the summit.
   
The US, which has a observer status in SAARC, would be represented by Robert Blake, the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia.
   
“Blake is looking forward to being our official observer and meeting with lots of counterparts," Nuland said.
   
She said Blake is going to the SAARC summit, which is a very important meeting of the regional powers. "We are obviously not members, because we don't live in that neighborhood, but we are observers".
   
"It is a good opportunity for Blake to see lots of his counterparts and also to encourage the kind of conversations and increasing economic integration moves that we've seen from some of the big SAARC members," Nuland underlined.


(Agencies)