New Delhi: The United States on Friday lauded India’s acceptance of Pakistani proposal for talks between the foreign ministers of the two neighbouring countries on the sidelines of the ongoing annual UN General Assembly session in New York. Calling the news as ‘terrific’, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert at her daily news conference said,”We saw that (reports of meetings between Indian and Pak leaders). I think that’s a terrific news for the Indians and Pakistanis to be able to sit down and have a conversation together.”
She also welcomed the exchange of messages between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pak counterpart Imran Khan, saying, “We saw the reports about the positive messages being exchanged between Prime Minister Khan and also Prime Minister Modi. And we hope that the conditions will be set for a good strong relationship, a good strong bilateral relationship in the future.”
The United States has traditionally welcomed any talks between India and Pakistan, the pace of which, it has noted, depends on the leadership of the two countries.
“In general, the United States supports dialogue between India and Pakistan that can reduce tensions, and we understand and had frequent conversations with the Indian partners on the expectations that there would be demonstrable reduction in cross-border terrorism or infiltration that will help create the confidence for dialogue to take place,” Alice Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, had told reporters during a conference call last week.
Earlier on Thursday, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, Raveesh Kumar had announced that India has agreed to a meeting between Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Pakistan’s request. He, however, made it clear that it was not the resumption of the Indo-Pak dialogue.
(With inputs from agencies)