Thursday, March 31, 2011

U.S. Hails India-Pakistan 'Cricket Diplomacy'

It may be opening day for Major League Baseball, but it is the widely reported cricket match between India and Pakistan that has caught the eye of the State Department.

"The United States congratulates the people of Pakistan and India on the cricket match between the two nations’ teams, and their respective Prime Ministers on their promising 'cricket diplomacy,'" said acting deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner.

"The match showcased world-class cricket, sportsmanship, and statesmanship. The expansion of dialogue between India and Pakistan is a welcome and encouraging development for both countries, for the region, and for the world. It builds on the substantial progress achieved by the Interior and Home secretaries earlier this week," Toner said of on-going diplomatic efforts.

"The United States welcomes the ongoing engagement between India and Pakistan. We continue to believe that talks should continue at a pace, time, and scope of the two governments’ choosing. We applaud both leaders and their citizens for the creative initiative, warm spirit and friendly competition on display during the match," Toner concluded in his written statement this afternoon.

India defeated Pakistan by 29 runs in the World Cup semi-final match Wednesday. India faces Sri Lanka tomorrow for the championship.

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