`Americans like cricket, if India, Pakistan play`
Washington: Americans don`t understand cricket, but they like it, particularly of the diplomatic variety between friend India and ally Pakistan.
"We`re for cricket. We don`t understand it, but we like it," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters amid laughter Monday when asked to comment on resumption of India-Pakistan cricketing ties.
"We share the interest of people in India, (and) people in Pakistan ...in seeing these two countries continuing to improve their relationship," she said reiterating US support for a continued dialogue between the two South Asian neighbours.
Welcoming the "considerable progress on the economic side," Nuland said, the US "encouraged them to do better on issues like sharing counterterrorism information and dealing with threats to both countries," but it was up to New Delhi and Islamabad how they move forward.
"We have been supportive in all of our diplomatic encounters at every level with the Indian side, with the Pakistani side in some of the progress that they`ve made," she said.
"They`ve made considerable progress on the economic side," Nuland said. "We are encouraging them to do better on issues like sharing counterterrorism information, dealing with threats to both countries, moving forward to work on trust and political issues."
"So we will continue (to) support dialogue between them at every level, but it`s obviously up to Indians and Pakistanis to continue to work on this," she said.
The issue of dealing with the aftermath of the Mumbai bombings and bringing people to justice, Nuland said, comes up in all of US discussions with Indians and with Pakistanis.
"And we`ll continue to advocate for full justice being served, not least because Americans lost their lives as well."