WASHINGTON- The United States hailed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit to New Delhi for inaugural ceremony of his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, and expressed support to strengthen dialogue between the two South Asian neighbors.

"We welcome the news of Prime Minister Sharif's visit to India for Prime Minister Modi's inauguration and their subsequent bilateral meeting," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said. "Broadly speaking, we continue to welcome any and all steps that India and Pakistan take to strengthen their dialogue and cooperation," she told reporters at the daily briefing, when asked to comment on the meeting between the leaders of the two nuclear powers.

However, the spokesperson referred reporters to the relevant Pakistani and Indian officials on substance of the meeting that took place in New Delhi on Tuesday, a day after Modi took oath of office after securing a landslide victory in the countrywide elections. The spokesperson also reaffirmed U.S. backing for economic efforts towards South Asian stability. "We applaud any efforts between India and Pakistan to create economic opportunities for the people of both countries that would contribute to a more secure, stable and prosperous region," Psaki said.