US says it supports direct Indo-Pak dialogue

US says it supports direct Indo-Pak dialogue

State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said that the US encourages healthy dialogue between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue. (Representative image) Photograph: (Reuters)

PTI Washington, DC, United States Aug 23, 2016, 06.12 PM (IST)
A direct dialogue between India and Pakistan is good for them and the region, the US has said as it voiced support to meetings at any level between the two countries.

"We strongly support all efforts between India and Pakistan that can contribute to a more stable and prosperous region, and that includes meetings at any level between Indian and Pakistani officials," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference.

"Our longstanding position has always been that India and Pakistan stand to benefit from a normalisation of relations and practical cooperation, and so we would be encouraged that India and Pakistan continue to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tensions," he said yesterday.

The State Department's statement came days after India rejected Pakistan's proposal to hold Foreign Secretary-level talks on Kashmir and asserted that it would like to discuss aspects related to cross-border terrorism which are central to the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Responding to Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry's invitation, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on August 17 expressed his willingness to travel to Islamabad but maintained Pakistan has no locus standi in addressing any aspect of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which is an internal matter of India, except to put an end to cross-border terrorism and infiltration.

(PTI)

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

The State Department's statement came days after India rejected Pakistan's proposal to hold Foreign Secretary-level talks on Kashmir

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