Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he's serious about holding peace talks with Pakistan but says the neighboring country must create an "appropriate environment" for the dialogue.

Modi said Saturday that dialogue needs to take place "without the shadow of terrorism."

He was making his first speech to the U.N. General Assembly since taking power in May.

Modi invited Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his inauguration but India in August withdrew from planned talks between their foreign secretaries as Pakistan wanted to consult first with separatists in the disputed region of Kashmir.

In his U.N. address Friday, Nawaz criticized India's withdrawal from the talks as a "missed opportunity."

India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir since independence in 1947.