WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Wednesday urged India and Pakistan to defuse tensions through talks as the two neighbors accused each other of killing their soldiers in Kashmir.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland expressed concern about violence along the line of control in Kashmir, saying "We're urging both sides to take steps to end the violence. We continue to strongly support any efforts to improve relations between the two countries."
"We've been counseling both governments to de-escalate, to work through this issue, to continue the consultations between them at a high level that we understand are ongoing now," she told reporters at a regular press briefing.
"Violence is not the answer for either country," she said.
Tensions have run high along the line of control dividing Kashmir into Indian and Pakistani controlled parts, after both sides accused each other of intruding and killing their soldiers in the past few days.
According to their accounts rejected by each other, one Pakistan and two Indian troopers were killed in the latest incidents, and one Indian was beheaded.
Nuland applauded the "pretty good progress" made by the two countries in recent years in working through a number of difficult issues, including opening of the trade relations.
On their engagement over the Kashmir incidents, she said that " If they can work it out themselves, that's obviously best. If both parties were interested in support from the UN, et cetera, we'd obviously support that as well."
Since their independence from British rule in 1947, India and Pakistan have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.