Friday Mar 01, 2019
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said he was hopeful to "take down the tensions" between Pakistan and India after having "good conversations" with leaders from the two neighbouring countries.
"I spent a good deal of time on the phone last night talking to leaders in both countries, making sure there was good information exchanged, encouraging each country to not take any action that would escalate and create increased risk," Pompeo told reporters travelling with him from Hanoi, Vietnam to Manila in the Philippines.
"We were and continue to be very engaged with the issue between India and Pakistan.
"I am hopeful that we can take down the tension there, at least for the time being, so they can begin to have conversations that don’t portend risk of escalation to either of the two countries," he noted, adding that the United States was "working hard on that".
Trump's right-hand man had also spoken on the matter on Tuesday when he urged the two nuclear-armed countries to “exercise restraint” amid soaring tensions.
"We encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and avoid escalation at any cost," Pompeo had said. He mentioned that he had spoken to Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to stress the importance of bilateral security and regional peace.
“I also spoke to Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi to underscore the priority of de-escalating current tensions by avoiding military action, and the urgency of Pakistan taking meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its soil," he had said.
“I also encouraged both Ministers to prioritise direct communication and avoid further military activity,” he had commented.