Washington, Dec 26: The US and UN today welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Pakistan, saying improved ties between the two neighbours will benefit the entire region. “We welcome the December 25 visit between PM Modi and PM (Nawaz) Sharif. Better relations between neighbors India and Pakistan will benefit the people of the entire region,” US State Department spokesman John Kirby said. The spokesman was responding to a question on Modi’s surprise visit to Lahore, where he held talks with Sharif. (Also Read: US media hails PM Narendra Modi’s Lahore stopover) Also Read - Pakistan Remains on FATF Grey List, Given Time Till June to Implement Full Action Plan

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also welcomed the meeting between the two leaders, hoping that the bilateral dialogue will be maintained and strengthened going forward. “The Secretary General has long been encouraging both leaders of the two countries to engage in dialogue. He  obviously welcomes this visit and this step in the right direction and he hopes that the dialogue will be maintained and strengthened,” a UN spokesperson told when asked about the UN chief’s response to Modi’s visit to Pakistan, the first by an Indian Prime Minister in more than a decade. Modi, returning from his visit to Russia and Afghanistan, made the surprise visit to Lahore. Also Read - To Protest Petrol Price Hike, Mamata Banerjee Takes Electric Scooter To Office | VIDEO

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