India, Pakistan to talk later this month

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New Delhi | Updated: September 20, 2018 6:36 PM

India and Pakistan will hold talks on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York next week.

india pakistan ties, UN general assembly, MEA, sushma swaraj, shah mehmood qureshi, SAARCThe decision to have this meeting on the sideline of UNGA was taken at the CCS meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

India and Pakistan will hold talks on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York next week. At the weekly briefing, External Affairs Ministry (MEA) official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar confirmed that, “We have decided that the meeting will be held. The Permanent Missions of both India and Pakistan will together work out the details. Till then, what will be discussed in the meeting, we will have to wait till the meeting takes place.”

In a first such high-level interaction between the two countries after three years, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan Foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will talk on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session.

“I can confirm that on the request from the Pakistani side a meeting between the two foreign ministers will take place on the sidelines of the UNGA at a mutually convenient date and time,” he added.

The decision to have this meeting on the sideline of UNGA was taken at the CCS meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. The spokesman clarified that the meeting is not resumption of dialogue process in response to queries.

The decision to have a meeting follows a letter written by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking resumption of dialogue and suggesting a meeting between the two foreign ministers on the sidelines of the UNGA, and a letter written by Qureshi to Sushma Swaraj.

Though the details of the talks are still in the process of being finalised, the matter on Kartarpur Saheb will be taken up when the foreign ministers of the two countries will meet later this month.

According to the spokesperson Swaraj will also be attending a meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) foreign ministers.

“The existing policy on the SAARC process will continue. I don’t think there is any change in it,” said the MEA spokesperson.

To a question about the brutality on a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan who was killed in firing from the Pakistani side, he said it was a barbaric incident and the BSF has written a strong communication to its counterparts in Pakistan.

The last time both countries had a substantive dialogue was way back in December 2015, when Sushma Swaraj had gone to Pakistan to attend the Heart of Asia conference.

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