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US Sec of State Pompeo hopeful of de-escalation between Pakistan, India

MANILA: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said he was hopeful to “take down the tension” between Pakistan and India after “good conversations” with leaders from the two neighbouring countries.

Pompeo explained that he “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”.

“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”.

The chief diplomat of the US had also spoken on the matter back on Tuesday when he urged the two nuclear-armed countries to “exercise restraint” amid the 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.

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