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U.S. Supports Directs Talks between Pakistan, India

State Department spokesperson says it is up to neighboring nations to determine ‘pace, scope and character’ of any dialogue

by Staff Report

File photo of U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller

The U.S. State Department on Thursday reiterated Washington’s supports for direct talks between Pakistan and India, stressing it valued “important relationships” with both countries.

“We value our important relationships with both India and Pakistan. As we have said, we support direct discussions between India and Pakistan, but the pace, scope and character should be determined by those two countries, not by us,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in response to a query on recent exchanges between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Indian P.M. Narendra Modi on social media.

Following Modi’s victory in the Indian general elections, P.M. Sharif had congratulated him on taking oath as Indian P.M. for a third time. In response, Modi had thanked Sharif.

Also on Thursday, Miller addressed a question on a recent statement by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.S. Masood Khan that Islamabad needed modern American weapons to fight the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, as the terror group was using U.S. weaponry abandoned in Afghanistan.

“The United States and Pakistan have a shared interest in combating threats to regional security,” said Miller. “We partner with Pakistan on security through our high-level counterterrorism dialogue, including several counterterrorism capacity building programs, and we support a series of U.S.-Pakistan military-to-military engagements,” he added.

The spokesperson said the two countries were in regular contact as part of the partnership on counter-terrorism issues. “We will continue to discuss regional security in detail, including through our annual counterterrorism dialogue and other bilateral consultations,” he added.

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