Washington: The United States on Wednesday said that it supports a direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on issues of concern.

Responding to a question during a regular State Department press briefing here, official spokesperson Matthew Miller said, "As we have long said, we support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on issues of concern. That has long been our position."

The response came after a question was raised regarding Pakistan Prime Minister's recent statement on 'willingness to talk with India.'

Addressing the opening ceremony of the Mineral Summit in Islamabad on Monday, Shehbaz Sharif said that to build the nation they are ready to talk with the neighbours.

Despite a history of strained ties between the two nations, since their independence in 1947, the Pakistan PM seeks to promote valuable engagement.

"With our neighbours, we are prepared to talk to them, provided that the neighbour is serious to talk on serious matters on the table because war is no more an option. Pakistan is a nuclear power, not as an aggressor but for our defence purposes. We had three wars fought in the last 75 years. And what happened is it generates more poverty, unemployment and lack of resources to finance, education, health and well-being of the people," PM Sharif said.

He stressed that this is not the way to adopt, but to fight through economic competition in the region.

"Because if there is any nuclear flashpoint, who will live to tell what happened? So (war) is not an option," PM Sharif said and added that he knows that both countries cannot become normal neighbours unless "abnormalities are removed" and unless the serious issues are understood and addressed through peaceful and meaningful discussions.

India and Pakistan's relations were never normal since the formation of the latter country. India has repeatedly raised its concern over Pakistan's support of cross-border terrorism and has asserted that terror and talks cannot go together.

Following the Indian government’s decision in August 2019 to abolish Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcate it into two Union territories [J&K and Ladakh], the Pakistan government, then led by Imran Khan, expelled India’s ambassador to Islamabad and halted bilateral trade.