NEW DELHI: There are “no plans” for a meeting between Indian and Pakistani prime ministers on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York this week, India’s foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

As part of “neighbours first” policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to meet the leaders of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal, Press Trust of India quoted the spokesman, Mr Syed Akbaruddin, as saying.

Asked if there could be a meeting between Mr Modi and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, he said: “There are no plans for the meeting.”

About recent meetings between Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, the spokesperson said these were ‘courtesy’ meetings sought by the Pakistani envoy.

“Process should not be mixed with the content,” he said when asked if these meetings were indicative of possibility that the two prime ministers might meet in New York.

On the Modi-Hasina meeting, PTI quoted the spokesman as saying that both countries were aware of each other’s concerns and issues and any meeting will help in better understanding and also further deepening of the bilateral cooperation.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2014

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