A top White House official has said despite the tough phase, Washington has been able to "sustain" its relationship with Islamabad. He said the US "needs" Islamabad on the table as it discusses the future of the region.
The official told a group of journalists on condition of anonymity that India and Pakistan have taken "constructive" steps to improve bilateral ties and the US, though not directly involved in brokering the process, is "incredibly" supportive of any efforts by them to expand their relations.
"We are incredibly supportive of any efforts the Indians and Pakistanis take to engage in dialogue to expand their relations," the official said.
The comments came in response to a question about the recent efforts of India and Pakistan to improve their relationship, especially in the business and economic field.
"We think that both sides have taken constructive steps in that direction," the official, a confidant of US President Barack Obama, told a small group of journalists on condition of anonymity.
In the first 100 days of coming to power, President Obama had expressed his desire to use diplomatic tools to improve relationship between India and Pakistan.
Nearly three years later, Obama administration officials expressed satisfaction over the steps being initiated by Indian and Pakistani leaders.
Indian External affairs minister S M Krishna said in Singapore yesterday that he would be travelling to Pakistan this summer. Last month, commerce minister Anand Sharma visited Pakistan.
The two countries have taken specific measures to improve trade and business relationship, which has also improved the political atmosphere between them, US officials feel.
"They have the full support of the United States. And we are not going to be able to be the ones to come in and broker, broker some type of agreement, given the longstanding issues at hand," the White House official said.
"But what we will do is express to both sides our strong support for those types of dialogue, and the steps that they are taking on the commercial and investment side. And we very much support seeing that go forward," the official told a small group of journalist.
"We frankly believe it is in the interest of both countries, both India and Pakistan have an interest in improved ties. And so does the United States," which has a very significant interest in seeing better relations between them, the official said, endorsing the two countries' move to improve their relationship.