WASHINGTON/United Nations - The United States has welcomed the meeting between Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Russia on Friday, saying Washington looks forward to reduction of tensions between the two countries.

"We welcome the meeting between Indian and Pakistani leaders there on the sidelines of this conference," State Department Spokesperson John Kirby said when asked about the meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of SCO Summit in the Russian city of Ufa. "We also welcome any steps that both countries can take to try to reduce the tensions. That's been our longstanding position," Kirby said. "We want to see the tensions reduced, and we want to see these issues resolved bilaterally between the two countries. It's in nobody's interest for the tensions to rise and to increase, and for the tensions in the region to become less stable in many ways than they already are," he said.

"There's an awful lot of kids living in that part of the world who I think everybody wants to make sure they have a better future. I think that's what we would hope the leaders in both countries are also trying to pursue. But these are issues that we want to see them solve bilaterally," he said.

The United Nations has also welcomed the meeting between Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, stating it was a "positive development."

"We are obviously very pleased that the dialogue took place," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman told reporters at the regular noon briefing in New York.

"The positive development in India-Pakistan relations is important to both countries and to the sub-region as well," spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said when asked about the Sharif-Modi meeting on the sidelines of the SCO summit in the Russian city of Ufa.

An Indian journalist pointed out that the Kashmir issue was not mentioned in the joint statement issued after the meeting, the spokesperson said it is not for the UN to dictate what the two leaders discuss.

"It is not for us to dictate what the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan discuss," he said.