US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called on India to reduce it's reliance on Iranian oil imports. She also took the opportunity to say that the US believed al Qaeda leaders were hiding out in Pakistan.
During a trip to the Indian city of Kolkata, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has suggested New Delhi should do more in its efforts to curb imports of Iranian oil.
"India… is certainly working towards lowering purchases of Iranian oil," she said on Monday. "We commend the steps they have taken thus far. We hope they will do even more and we think there is an adequate supply (from other exporters) in the market place. We think this is part of India's role in the international community.
Clinton said it was critical for pressure to be maintained on Iran over its disputed nuclear program.
India could face US sanctions by the end of June if the Obama administration determines it has not made significant cuts in imports from Iran.
Later in the day, she is scheduled to meet with Indian officials in New Dehli.
Pakistan delaying on al Qaeda
Clinton said that several major al Qaeda leaders were still on the run, including the man believed to be behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. The US recently offered $10 million (13 million euros) for information that leads to the conviction of Hafiz Saeed, who is known to be hiding out in Pakistan.
Clinton said that Pakistan had not taken steps to find Saeed and deliver him to India, despite multiple requests from India and the US.
Saeed is not the only person of interest from al Qaeda in Pakistan, which shares a common border with India.
"There are several significant leaders still on the run," Clinton said. "(Ayman al-)Zawahiri, who inherited the leadership from Bin Laden, is somewhere, we believe, in Pakistan," she added.
mz/al (dpa, AFP, AP)