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Nawaz-Singh meeting at UN likely

Updated September 06, 2013

ISLAMABAD, Sept 5: The Foreign Office appeared hopeful on Thursday about a possible meeting between the prime ministers of Pakistan and India on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session later this month.

“The date for the meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh is being worked out,” Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry said at the weekly media briefing.

Prime Minister Sharif is scheduled to address the session on Sept 26 and it is expected that the meeting between the two prime ministers will take place around that date.

Mr Chaudhry said the expected meeting would help the two countries in engaging in a constructive dialogue for building mutual trust and improving ties.

Pakistan’s position, the spokesman recalled, had been that hiatus in the dialogue with India strengthened the narrative of the anti-peace lobbies.

“That’s why we have always been urging that dialogue must continue. Howsoever difficult the issues may be, they should be settled on the table.”

Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz will meet Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Sept 13 in Kyrgyzstan on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Bishkek.

The meeting is taking place on Pakistan’s request.

Mr Aziz and Mr Khurshid are likely to finalise the date and agenda for the Sharif-Singh interaction.

The spokesman expressed concern over “progressively deteriorating” situation in Syria, but said Pakistan remained opposed to use of force.