The United States and the United Nations on Thursday welcomed India and Pakistan’s announcement of a ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control, calling it a positive step that will encourage dialogue between the two neighbouring countries.

“This is a positive step towards greater peace and stability in South Asia, which is in our shared interest,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a briefing. “And we encourage both countries to keep building upon this progress.”

Responding to a question about whether Pakistan was doing enough to combat terrorism, Psaki said the US remained closely engaged with leaders from the country. “But in terms of an assessment of that, I would point you to the State Department or the intelligence department,” she added.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said India and Pakistan’s announcement was encouraging. “The Secretary-General is encouraged by the joint statement issued by the militaries of India and Pakistan on their agreement to observing the ceasefire at the Line of Control in Kashmir and engaging through established mechanisms,” Guterres’ Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric was quoted as saying by PTI. “He [Guterres] hopes that this positive step will provide an opportunity for further dialogue.”

Also read: India and Pakistan agree to stop ceasefire violations along Line of Control

Volkan Bozkir, president of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, also appreciated the ceasefire agreement. “I wholeheartedly welcome today’s [Thursday’s] ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan,” he tweeted. “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.”

India’s Ministry of Defence announced on Thursday that New Delhi and Pakistan had reached a ceasefire agreement during talks between the director generals of military operations.

The countries said they will address each other’s “core issues and concerns which have propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence”. The announcement was welcomed by political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir.

There has been an increase in incidents of ceasefire violations along the LoC over the last few years. The Centre had told Parliament earlier this month that there were 5,133 ceasefire violations along the India-Pakistan border in 2020, which led to 46 deaths.