US Supports Direct Talks Between Pakistan, India: State Dept Spox

Matthew Miller says the scope of negotiations should be determined by the two neighboring countries and not the US.

US Supports Direct Talks Between Pakistan, India: State Dept Spox

The US State Department reiterated on Thursday that it encourages dialogue between Pakistan and India, but that the scope of talks should be defined by the two neighboring countries rather than the United States. 

State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said this in answer to a question about recent interactions between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi over the latter's election to a third term as prime minister. 

"We appreciate our important partnerships with India and Pakistan. As previously said, we favor direct talks between India and Pakistan, but the speed, breadth, and character should be defined by those two countries, not by us," Miller added.

On June 10, PM Shehbaz congratulated Modi on taking his oath as Indian Prime Minister. Modi responded by thanking Shehbaz. 

Shehbaz's elder brother, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, also congratulated the Indian prime minister. "Let us replace hate with hope and seize the opportunity to shape the destiny of the two billion people of South Asia," he suggested. 

The Indian Prime Minister responded, saying, "The people of India have always stood for peace, security, and progressive ideas." 

"Advancing the well-being and security of our people shall always remain our priority," he stated.

Meanwhile, at the department's press briefing, the State Department spokesperson stated that the United States and Pakistan had a common interest in confronting challenges to regional security. 

"We partner with Pakistan on security through our high-level counterterrorism dialogue, including several counterterrorism capacity-building programs, and we support a series of US-Pakistan military-to-military engagements," he added.