"We are always for thaws. We always welcome countries that have had issues with each other engaging in a positive and constructive dialogue," Ban's spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters on Wednesday when asked about the meeting between Modi and Sharif and the thaw in bilateral relationship.

Sharif was among the eight regional leaders invited by Modi for his swearing-in ceremony on May 26.

The two leaders held their first bilateral meeting on Modi's first day of assuming office as India's new Prime Minister.

During the meeting, Modi expressed hope that India- Pakistan relations would progress in the economic, cultural and political fields in the same manner that India's ties with her other SAARC neighbours have progressed in recent years.

Sharif described the 45-minute meeting as "good and constructive" and "held in warm and cordial atmosphere."

He read out a statement to media after his meeting which said that his government stands ready to discuss all issues between the two countries in a spirit of cooperation and sincerity.

(Agencies)

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