UN chief hails Nawaz-Manmohan New York meeting

Published September 17, 2013
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. – File Photo
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. – File Photo

UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday “strongly” welcomed the decision by Pakistan and India to hold a summit-level meeting later this month on the margins of the UN General Assembly, saying he had recommended such a dialogue to resolve their outstanding issues, including Kashmir.

“I strongly welcome it”, he said of the meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh, which is to take place in New York on Sept 29.

Responding to a question at a press conference, the secretary-general said during his recent visit to Pakistan he had “strongly recommended” that the two leaders should take advantage of the Assembly session and meet each other, and that he would continue to support such high-level contacts between the two important South Asian countries.

Asked about the unrest in Indian-held Kashmir, he said the two prime ministers should discuss this matter.

He expressed his concern over the recent exchange of firing between Indian and Pakistani troops across the Line of Control in the disputed region.

On Friday, Pakistan's National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz and Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid met in Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit where the decision to hold the top-level meeting was announced.

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