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Washington: Describing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent conversation with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif as a "welcome sign" the US says it wants the two countries to continue to have a dialogue to fight terrorism.
"We want them to continue to have a dialogue and to continue to look for ways to cooperate against a common threat," US State Department Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters Friday in response to a question. The conversation between the two Prime Ministers was a "welcome sign", he said, with both condemning the terrorist attack on the Indian Air Force base at Pathankot and expressing their shared commitment to fighting terrorism.
"That was not an insignificant discussion that they had, nor was it an insignificant commitment that they made, and it's exactly the kind of commitment that we want them to continue to make," Kirby said.
The spokesperson said, "It should come as a shock to no one that terrorist groups will try to undermine those sorts of efforts by conducting spectacular attacks - to do exactly that." The terrorists, he said, wanted "to sow fear, and to hopefully sow doubt in the minds of national leaders towards a level of cooperation that can have a practical effect."
"And obviously, we don't want to see that happen," Kirby said. The US was "encouraged by the dialogue that has recently taken place between India and Pakistan, and we'd like to see that continue."
Describing India-US relationship as an important one, the spokesperson said, Washington was committed to it and wanted to continue to improve its excellent ties with New Delhi as there was still much to be done.
"There's still much to be done, and again, this is an important relationship that we want to continue to improve," Kirby said.
"And we have excellent relations with the Government of India," he said. "We want to make them even better."
"We know how important this relationship is, and I can assure you and the Indian people that the United States remains committed to it," he said.