NEW DELHI: India on Saturday raised with China its blocking of Jaish-i-Mohammad (JM) chief Masood Azhar’s banning by the UN as well as Beijing’s opposition to India’s NSG membership bid for which the two sides agreed to have a meeting soon between their top disarmament officials, the Press Trust of India said.

It said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her visiting Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, during their talks, also decided to put in place a new mechanism at the level of foreign secretaries to discuss various aspects of ties which have witnessed strains in the recent past.

The meeting coincided with reports that Indian Defence Mini­ster Manohar Parrikar would visit Washington this month, his second trip there in eight months.

Ms Swaraj also conveyed to Mr Wang India’s concerns on the China-Pakistan Economic Corri­dor (CPEC) in “disputed Kashmir” during the three-hour-long discussion including over lunch.

They reviewed the situation on the border and discussed further steps to strengthen peace and tranquillity.

Meanwhile, Mr Parrikar is expected to keep the signing of the Logistics Exchange Memoran­dum of Agreement with the US high on the agenda of his visit to Washington, reports said.

India and the US had announced in April this year the decision to conclude the logistic support agreement, but the pact has not been signed yet. Hopes are high on the US side that is in touch with India to draw up the agenda for the minister’s visit, before a schedule is formally announced, an American source told The Hindu.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2016

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