Washington: The United States, the United Nations and the European Nations have welcomed the announcement by the militaries of India and Pakistan to strictly observe all agreements on ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and other sectors, and hoped that it would lead to greater peace and stability in South Asia.

In a significant move to ease tension, India and Pakistan on Thursday (February 25) said they have agreed to strictly observe all agreements on the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) and other sectors.

Reacting to the development, the US said it viewed the ceasefire agreement as a positive step towards greater peace and stability in South Asia.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the President Joe Biden administration remains 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,” Psaki said.

“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 when asked about the joint statement that announced India and Pakistan have agreed to strictly observe all agreements on ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and other sectors.

At a separate news conference, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the administration had called on the parties to reduce tensions along the LoC by returning to the 2003 ceasefire agreement.

“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 US’ 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.

He said Pakistan is an important partner with whom the US shares many interests.

“We have been clearer in terms of this issue. Obviously, Pakistan has an important role to play when it comes to Afghanistan and what takes place across its other border. So clearly, we will be paying close attention, and we urge the Pakistanis to play a constructive role in all of these areas of mutual interests including in Afghanistan, including with Kashmir including with our other shared interest,” Price said.

At the United Nations, the spokesman for the UN chief, Antonio Guterres said the Secretary General welcomed the move of India and Pakistan and hoped that it will provide an opportunity for further dialogue.

“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 engaging through established mechanisms,” Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the UN chief, said at the daily press briefing on Thursday.

“He hopes that this positive step will provide an opportunity for further dialogue,” Dujarric said.

President of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly Volkan Bozkir tweeted that he “wholeheartedly” welcomes the ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan.

“Their stated commitment to achieve sustainable peace through addressing each other’s core issues and concerns sets an example for other countries and demonstrates #UNGA values,” he said in the tweet.

In response to a question on whether the Secretary-General plans to talk to the leaders of India and Pakistan, Dujarric said, “There’s no plan that I’m aware of, but the Secretary General is always available for his good offices… Between any Member States who would request it.”

Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) on Friday welcomed the ceasefire agreement reached between India and Pakistan.

Nabila Massrali, Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, EU, tweeted: “The EU welcomes the agreement between India and Pakistan to observe a strict ceasefire at the Line of Control in Kashmir and to engage through the established mechanisms.

“An important step in the interest of regional peace and stability on which to further bilateral dialogue.”

The decision on the ceasefire, effective since Wednesday midnight, was taken at a meeting between the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan.

The DGMOs held discussions over the established mechanism of hotline contact and reviewed the situation along the Line of Control and all other sectors in a “free, frank and cordial atmosphere”, a joint statement issued by the two countries said on Thursday.

“Both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control and all other sectors with effect from midnight of February 24/25,” it said. 





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