U.N., U.S. welcome India-Pakistan ceasefire

Published : February 26, 2021 17:09 IST

Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, at a press briefing in Washington, D.C., on February 25. Photo: AFP

A day after India and Pakistan announced ceasefire at the Line of Control and all other sectors in Jammu and Kashmir, the United States and the United Nations have welcomed the move, describing it as “a positive step towards greater peace and stability in South Asia”.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki hailed the decision during a media briefing and said that the Biden administration remained closely engaged with a range of leaders and officials in the region, including those in Pakistan.

“The United States welcomes the joint statement between India and Pakistan that the two countries have agreed to maintain strict observance of a ceasefire along the Line of Control starting on February 25th,” Jen Psaki said.

She expressed hope that the two nuclear armed countries that have been at loggerheads since the Pulwama attack in February 2019 would work together to further the progress achieved in their bilateral relations. “This is a positive step towards greater peace and stability in South Asia which is in our shared interest and we encourage both countries to keep building upon this progress,” she said.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price further told the media that the U.S. administration had called on the parties to reaffirm commitment to the 2003 casefire agreement and reduce tensions along the LoC.

He said that the U.S. firmly denounced cross-border infiltration, while adding that the U.S. believed and encouraged that dialogue between the two countries was the way forward. “We have been very clear that we condemn the terrorists who seek to infiltrate across the Line of Control,” he said. “When it comes to the U.S.’ role, we continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern, and we certainly welcome the arrangement that was announced that will go into effect I should say on February 25,” Price said.

Meanwhile, Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson of the U.N. chief, also hailed the India-Pakistan announcement of a ceasefire. “The Secretary-General is encouraged by the joint statement issued by the militaries of India and Pakistan on their agreement to observe the ceasefire at the Line of Control in Kashmir and engage through established mechanisms,” Stephane Dujarric said. “He hopes that this positive step will provide an opportunity for further dialogue.”

Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, “whole-heartedly” welcomed the announcement in a tweet.

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