WASHINGTON - The United States on Thursday praised the "cricket diplomacy" between India and Pakistan after their leaders met for a game, saying that better ties between the rivals were in the world's interest. "The expansion of dialogue between India and Pakistan is a welcome and encouraging development for both countries, for the region and for the world," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement. But while the US voiced support for the dialogue, it said that future steps were up to the two countries. "We continue to believe that talks should continue at a pace, time and scope of the two governments' choosing," Toner said. "We applaud both leaders and their citizens for the creative initiative, warm spirit and friendly competition on display during the match," he said.