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U.S. Welcomes Meeting Of India, Pakistan Leaders


Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari (left) and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meet in New Delhi.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari (left) and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meet in New Delhi.

The United States has welcomed a meeting between the leaders of India and Pakistan, saying improved relations between the South Asian rivals will help the entire region.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari became his nation's first head of state to visit India in seven years when he held talks with its prime minister, Manmohan Singh, on April 9.

They agreed to build on a recent thaw in the strained relations between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

The leaders discussed Kashmir, theater of two of three wars between India and Pakistan, as well as terrorism and trade during a 40-minute meeting on their own before sharing lunch, Indian Foreign Secretary Rajan Mathai told reporters.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria said Washington was very pleased at that meeting and that Singh had accepted Zardari's invitation to visit Pakistan.

She said that improved engagement between the neighbors would help provide more security and stability to millions of people.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP
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