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India, Pakistan ties important to us: US

Washington, July 3  Reiterating that relations between India and Pakistan are important to it, the US has expressed the hope that New Delhi and Islamabad would work on issues between them and reduce tensions.

As US Secretary of State John Kerry mentioned a couple of weeks ago after a call with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif “relations between India and Pakistan are important to us,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters Thursday.

“It’s an important region with lots of challenges, lots of common challenges that both countries can continue to work on,” he said in response to a question.

“But many of them – all of them – need to be worked on between India and Pakistan, and we’d like to see those tensions reduced.”

Kirby who was asked to comment about reports that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sharif would be meeting in Russia on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s meeting, declined to say anything about “a meeting that hasn’t happened.”

Asked if Kerry’s call to Sharif had helped reduce tensions, the spokesman said: “I don’t know that Secretary Kerry would credit his one phone call for some new trend in security relations.”

“But it is important to him to continue to have a dialogue with his counterparts in India and in Pakistan because the issues are so important to regional stability,” Kirby said.

“And I think it’s safe to say that you can continue to see him engaged on this, and there’ll be more dialogue,” he said.

“But a reduction in tensions overall – and we’ve seen the tensions rise and fall over time — … is what we’re all after and I think suits all parties,” Kirby added.

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