Washington: Nawaz Sharif's decision to invite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a "positive sign", the United States said and expressed its willingness to work with the new government in Pakistan.

"We have seen those comments. I don't want to analyze it too much, but to say that it is a positive step and we look forward to working with the new government as it's formed," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

Psaki was responding to questions on the invitation by Sharif to Singh to attend his swearing-in ceremony.

"The Secretary called Sharif yesterday to congratulate him on his strong showing in Saturday's elections, and told him that he looks forward to working with the government as the government is formed in Pakistan," she said.

"He looks forward to continuing a broad relationship of working together on a number of issues, including continuing to work on counterterrorism. Mr Sharif has indicated that economic development and growth is one of his focuses. But their focus right now is, of course, on forming the government. And once they do that, I'm sure we'll have more substantive conversations with them," she said.

(Agencies)

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