Washington, Aug. 23 : The U.S. State Department has said it strongly supports all efforts between India and Pakistan that can contribute to a more stable and prosperous region, adding it includes meetings at any level between the arch-rivals.
U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark C. Toner made this remark when asked if Washington would come forward as a mediator on stalled talks between New Delhi and Islamabad.
"Well, first of all, we strongly support all efforts between India and Pakistan to - that can contribute to a more stable and prosperous region, and that includes meetings at any level between Indian and Pakistani officials," Toner said.
He said that Washington would be encouraged if India and Pakistan continue to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tensions.
"Our longstanding position has always been that India and Pakistan stand to benefit from a normalization of relations and practical cooperation, and so we would be encouraged that India and Pakistan continue to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tensions," he added.
Last week, India rejected Pakistan's proposal for Foreign Secretary-level talks on Kashmir and said that terror remains the core concern and it would like to discuss aspects related to cross-border terrorism which are central to the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan's invitation came after Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the Parliament that New Delhi was willing to discuss the issue of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and that the question of discussing Jammu and Kashmir doesn't arise.