US hopes Modi-Sharif meeting will lead to dialogue

Washington, July (IANS) Describing last week’s meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif as an “important step forward”, the US has urged the two countries to create “constituencies for peace.”

The Modi-Sharif meeting on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting in Ufa, Russia “marked an important step forward in lowering tensions and leading to constructive dialogue,” Vice President Joe Biden said here Monday.

“Our hope and prayer is it will yield more,” he said during a keynote speech on US-India relations at an event hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The US, Biden said “strongly encouraged” the two sides “to build on this strategic opening to enhance trade and economic linkages and build key constituencies for peace in both countries.”

The US, he said, “was also grateful for India’s generosity in supporting Afghanistan’s economic and political stability and shared interest in a peaceful stable Afghanistan that no longer serves as a safe haven for terrorists.

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