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No third party mediation: Sinha

New Delhi June 26. India today rejected the Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf's suggestion for a U.S.-sponsored road map, on the lines of West Asia, to resolve the Kashmir issue, saying that there is no place for third party mediation.

"We have repeatedly said there is no third party role in the bilateral dialogue...There is no space for a third party at the table," the External Affairs Minister, Yashwant Sinha, told NDTV, adding that the issues between India and Pakistan had to be resolved bilaterally.

Gen. Musharraf had told an American TV channel that he would like the U.S. President, George W. Bush, to involve himself in a West Asia-style `road map' on Kashmir, but feared India would not allow that as it wanted bilateral resolution "of everything".

On whether India had accepted China's territorial sovereignty over Tibet, and Beijing had agreed to New Delhi's control over Sikkim, Mr. Sinha said "I would say we have made progress on all issues including a great understanding on Tibet and Sikkim." And, there was no fundamental change in India's stand on Tibet.

Asked if the two countries continued to see each other as rivals for control in the region, he said: "I don't think so. It's a healthy competition as between any two nations." The two countries should move ahead in their bilateral relations and a lot of issues would be sorted out along the way. — PTI

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