File Photo: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press briefing in Washington D.C., the United States, Feb. 1, 2019. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)
WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday urged India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and keep from taking more actions that would escalate their current tension.
In a statement issued by the State Department, Pompeo, who is now in Hanoi, Vietnam, said that he has earlier spoken with Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi about India's latest confrontation with Pakistan.
Pompeo also noted that the United States encourages India and Pakistan "to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost."
"I also encouraged both ministers to prioritize direct communication and avoid further military activity," said the U.S. top diplomat.
The ties between the two Asian neighbors have grown tense following the Feb. 14 suicide attack on the Indian police in the Indian-controlled Kashmir that had killed over 40 policemen.
The Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group, which was banned in Pakistan in 2002, had claimed responsibility for the deadly attack in the town of Pulwama.
In a latest phone conversation with Qureshi, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China supports Pakistan and India to resolve the issue through dialogue as soon as possible and avoid an escalation of the situation.
Wang called on both sides to collaborate on fighting terrorism and jointly safeguarding the security and stability of South Asia.