The United States says it supports the efforts of Indian and Pakistani leaders to improve bilateral ties even as it acknowledged that it would take time to overcome the trust deficit between the two neighbours.
"I think you left out the punch line that here was a pledge, notwithstanding a trust deficit, to work very earnestly to improve relations between Pakistan and India," State Department spokesman P J Crowley said on Monday.
"And we, the United States, certainly support that," he said when asked about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's remarks about a trust deficit between India and Pakistan and a trust deficit between the US and Pakistan that the US was trying to overcome for the last one year.
"As we have said many times, it will take time to overcome that, but certainly, mutual commitment to high-level dialogue is a step in the right direction," he said when asked how the US was addressing the issue.
Crowley said a number of working groups will be part of the inaugural India-US Strategic Dialogue here next week, led by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna.
The working groups include a range of environment, economic issues, counterterrorism issues, regional security issues.
The Strategic Dialogue will chaired by Clinton and Krishna, "but there'll be a number of meetings across the government on a wide range of issues," he said.