State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki was responding to India’s invitation to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and leaders of other South Asian nations for Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on coming Monday.

"We welcome increased engagement between India and Pakistan, and their leaders and ... India's engagement with its neighbours, leading up to the inauguration," Psaki said at a daily news briefing.

"We believe increased engagement between India and Pakistan is a positive step, so we'll see what happens," she added.

Psaki made it clear that US would not attend Modi's swearing-in ceremony and added that the decision should not come as a surprise.

"We don't have any plans to send our representatives from the United States," she said.

"It's standard for events and inaugurations in India, so it should come as no surprise,” she added.

US had denied Modi, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, a visa in 2005 following allegations about his role in the 2002 riots in the state in which over 1, 000 people were killed.

Soon after Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party was declared the winner of the Lok Sabha elections, Sharif had invited Modi to visit Pakistan at a suitable time.

(JPN/Agencies)

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