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Modi-Sharif meeting: US welcomes steps to reduce tension

india Updated: Jul 10, 2015 09:39 IST

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif before a meeting in New Delhi on May 27, 2014. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)

The United States has welcomed the scheduled meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Russia on Friday, saying the tension between the two South Asian neighbours is not in anyone's interest.

"We welcome the (upcoming) meeting between Indian and Pakistani leaders there on the sidelines of this conference," state department spokesperson John Kirby told reporters at his daily news conference when asked about the Modi-Sharif meeting in Ufa.

"We also welcome any steps that both countries can take to try to reduce the tensions. That's been our longstanding position," Kirby said.

"We want to see the tensions reduced, and we want to see these issues resolved bilaterally between the two countries. It's in nobody's interest for the tensions to rise and to increase, and for the tensions in the region to become less stable in many ways than they already are," he said.

Responding to a question, Kirby said both the leaders want peace; and that's certainly what the US wants as well.

"There's an awful lot of kids living in that part of the world who I think everybody wants to make sure they have a better future. I think that's what we would hope the leaders in both countries are also trying to pursue. But these are issues that we want to see them solve bilaterally," Kirby said.

Modi and Sharif will have a bilateral meeting in Ufa on Friday on sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit and are expected to discuss the status of the bilateral ties and the future direction.