The United States on Wednesday said there was no change in its stated policy that Kashmir was a bilateral issue that needed to be resolved between India and Pakistan, and would like to see the recent economic warming between the two sides translate into a better conversation on that issue.

“With regard to our own policy on Kashmir, it hasn’t changed. It’s been the same for a very long time,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters when asked about the sharp exchange of words between India and Pakistan during the ongoing United Nations General Assembly session in New York.

For the past several decades, the U.S. has maintained that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and the two countries need to resolve it peacefully through dialogue.

The US official was highly appreciative of the ongoing peace process between the two nations especially in the economic field.

“We have said for some time that we applaud the progress that India and Pakistan have made in their dialogue, particularly on the economic side.

“We are encouraged that they’ve taken some concrete steps to normalise trade relations, including the recently signed agreement on visa liberalisation. We want to see this economic warming extend to other areas,” Ms. Nuland said.

Responding to a question, Ms. Nuland said the issue of Kashmir did not come up during the meeting between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York late last month. — PTI