Washington, Dec 9: The US is not running or convening any talks between India and Pakistan with respect to counter-terrorism, a State Department official has said welcoming the latest series of talks between the two South Asian countries to resolve their bilateral issues.
"We are not running any or convening any talks between India and Pakistan with respect to counter-terrorism. We strongly and still believe that the best solution is for the two countries to work out these issues together," State Department Spokesman John Kirby yesterday told reporters at his daily news conference.
"These are common threats they both face, so I'm not aware of any effort by the United States to lead or convene some sort of effort," he said in response to a question. The US, he said, welcomes report of the meeting between Indian and Pakistani officials.
"We support any and all positive steps India and Pakistan can take to reduce the tensions, to engage in dialogue, forge closer relations. The normalisation of relations between those two countries is vital not only to them but to the region, so we once again encourage this kind of dialogue," Kirby said.
"As I've said before, I mean, these are issues that are best worked out between the two of them by the two of them," he said in response to another question. Kirby said terrorism poses a serious threat to the countries in the region and this has been an important issue of conversation with officials of these nations.
"We view the terrorist threat in that part of the world to be one shared by everybody, and including the United States, which is why we've worked so hard in Afghanistan, which is why we still work so hard on a relationship with Pakistan," he said.
"We know that the spying between Afghanistan and Pakistan still remains a safe haven and a real source of sustenance for various terrorist groups, and it's something we're going to continue to work at bilaterally, multilaterally in the region," he said.
"But specifically between India and Pakistan, we continue to believe that this is these are issues which, frankly, should encourage both sides to continue to want to work closer and stronger together bilaterally to solve it, because it is a common threat to both of them," Kirby said.