The United Nations and the United States welcomed Thursday’s joint statement of India and Pakistan to strictly observe all agreements on ceasefire along the Line of Control in the disputed Kashmir region, saying it was a ‘positive step’ towards peace and stability in South Asia. Soon after India and Pakistan announced their decision to stop cross-border firing, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the Biden administration has urged the parties to reduce tensions along the LoC by returning to the 2003 ceasefire agreement. “We have been very clear that we condemn the terrorists who seek to infiltrate across the Line of Control,” he said. “When it comes to the US’ role, we continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern, and we certainly welcome the arrangement that was announced that will go into effect I should say on February 25,” Price said. The spokesman was asked about the relationship that the Biden administration was going to have with Pakistan specifically, because when President Biden was vice president, he had a very warm relationship with Pakistan, especially to the extent that he saw Pakistan as a vital partner in the war in Afghanistan. How Biden intends to walk what, as you know, is a very fine line between trying to stay neutral? Price said Pakistan is an important partner with whom the US shares many interests. “We, have been clearer in terms of this issue. Obviously, Pakistan has an important role to play when it comes to Afghanistan and what takes place across its other border. So clearly, we will be paying close attention, and we urge the Pakistanis to play a constructive role in all of these areas of mutual interests including in Afghanistan, including with Kashmir including with our other shared interest,” he said. In Washington, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also said at her daily news conference that the Biden administration remains closely engaged with a range of leaders and officials in the region. “The United States welcomes the joint statement between India and Pakistan that the two countries have agreed to maintain strict observance of a ceasefire along the Line of Control starting on February 25th,” Psaki said. “This is a positive step towards greater peace and stability in South Asia which is in our shared interest and we encourage both countries to keep building upon this progress,” she said when asked about the joint statement. Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly President, Volkan Bozkir of Turkey said he welcomes the agreement that demonstrates the values of UNGA. “I wholeheartedly welcome the ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan. 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,” he said in a statement read out by his spokesman Brenden Varma at the regular noon briefing at UN Headquarters in New York. Earlier, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had also called the agreement a “positive step”. “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 the established mechanism,” his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. “He hopes that this positive step would provide an opportunity for further dialogue,” the statement said.