Thursday Sep 20 2018
Web Desk

Pakistan, India FMs to meet in New York on September 27: sources

Web Desk

NEW DELHI: Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi will meet in New York on September 27, sources informed Geo News after the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirmed the meeting without specifying a date.

The sources said that the two foreign ministers will meet on lunch in New York on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Earlier, a spokesperson for the Indian MEA confirmed that Qureshi and Swaraj will meet on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York later this month. The spokesperson, however, did not specify a date for the meeting.

"India has accepted the Pakistani prime minister's suggestion," the spokesperson told reporters in New Delhi. "The meeting will take place on Pakistan's request."

The spokesperson said the decision was taken after Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote a letter to Indian Premier Narendra Modi.

Khan wrote a letter to Modi in response to the Indian premier's letter congratulating him for assuming office. According to Times of India, Modi in his letter written on August 20 had called for a “meaningful and constructive” engagement between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan premier in his letter called for a meeting between the two foreign ministers on the sidelines of the UNGA.

Diplomatic sources said Khan stressed that Qureshi and Swaraj should initiate the resumption of dialogue and meet on the sidelines of UNGA.

In his letter, Khan also sought a resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan.

Sources said the Pakistan prime minister in his letter acknowledged that the relations between both the countries face several challenges but that Pakistan was ready for talks on all issues, including terrorism.

India and Pakistan should look to resolve all major outstanding issues, including Kashmir, Sir Creek and Siachen, through dialogue, Khan wrote according to sources.

Further, the Foreign Office (FO) of Pakistan said PM Khan had written to Modi in a positive spirit. FO spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said: "PM has responded to PM Modi, in a positive spirit, reciprocating his sentiments. Let’s talk and resolve all issues. We await formal response from India."

Earlier in July, Modi had also telephoned PM Khan and congratulated him over his victory in the polls. During the telephonic conversation, Modi expressed hope that democracy will take deeper roots in Pakistan and reiterated his vision of peace and development in the region.

Khan, in his first speech after winning the general election, had said that he was keen to improve relations with India and wanted work to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue.

India and Pakistan have not been engaged in any substantial dialogue since 2015 when Swaraj travelled to Islamabad for Heart of Asia conference.