US says it supports Pakistan's territorial integrity

In a bid to smooth key ally Pakistan's ruffled feathers over a lawmaker's call for self-determination in restive Balochistan, the United States has  reiterated that it supports Pakistan's territorial integrity.

"The United States respects the territorial integrity of Pakistan," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Tuesday when asked about a resolution proposed last week by Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.

"Members of Congress introduce legislation on many foreign affairs topics, but they don't in any way imply US government endorsement of those positions," she said.

The spokesperson said the State Department had heard Pakistani diplomats' complaints both in Islamabad and Washington over Rohrabacher's resolution.

"And in response to that, we again clarified our position... that the United States respects the territorial integrity of Pakistan," Nuland said.

"With regard to Balochistan itself, we encourage all the parties in Balochistan to work out their differences peaceably and through a political process," she said. "So we would like to again make clear that we respect Pakistani sovereignty in this regard."

Rohrabacher's resolution asserts that the Baloch people "have the right to self-determination and to their own sovereign country, and they should be afforded the opportunity to choose their own status."

Rohrabacher's proposal is a "concurrent resolution," meaning that even if passed it would not have legal force and would not need the signature of President Barack Obama.

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