US says it encourages India, Pak to engage in dialogue

Washington, Apr 8, 2016, (PTI):Amid Pakistan “suspending” peace process with India, the Obama administration has said it encourages both the countries to “engage in direct dialogue” to “reduce tensions” between them.

“We believe and it’s been our longstanding position that India and Pakistan stand to benefit from the normalisation of relations and practical cooperation, and we encourage them to do so, to engage in direct dialogue that’s aimed at reducing tensions between the two governments and two countries,” US State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference yesterday.

“We strongly support those efforts, because we believe it, will lead to greater stability and peace in the region and is to the benefit of both countries,” Toner said in response to a question on the remarks of Pakistan Ambassador to India Abdul Basit in New Delhi earlier in the day wherein he said the talks between the two countries are “suspended”.

The US official, however, did not respond to questions on the arrest of an Indian national in Balochistan, who Pakistan alleges worked for an Indian spy agency. “I am aware of the reports about the arrest. I don’t have any details of the arrest,” Toner said.

Pakistan has denied the arrested Indian national access to consular services from the Indian government.

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