Washington:  Ahead of the Foreign Secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan, the United States has said that it is encouraged by the dialogue between the two South Asian neighbors.

"I think we are encouraged by the dialogue that has been ongoing between India and Pakistan and the upcoming visit," State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said.

"We urge them to talk about these issues directly." Nuland's remarks came ahead of Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao's visit to Islamabad to hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir on June 23-24, during which the two sides would take stock of the progress made during the series of high-level meetings between the two countries in key areas of security, trade and commerce and water.