New Delhi, Sep 5: Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is to meet Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s foreign policy adviser, in Kyrgyzstan on Sep 13 when the two sides will try to firm up a meeting between their prime ministers in New York September end, said informed sources.
According to sources, Khurshid and Aziz will meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meet in Bishkek to try and schedule a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry said in Islamabad Thursday: “The two governments are in touch with each other on this matter…The meeting could be a useful opportunity to engage in a constructive dialogue to discuss ways of building mutual trust and improving bilateral relations.”
He told a weekly news briefing that while the bilateral dialogue process has not yet resumed, and when it does, both sides would discuss all matters of mutual concern.
“The date of the meeting is being worked out,” he told the media briefing.
Sharif, who became premier in June, has expressed his desire to meet Manmohan Singh in New York.
Tensions between the two neighbours escalated following the killing of five Indian soldiers in early August on the Line of Control in Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir. There have been a series of ceasefire violations on the LoC over which India has voiced its concerns.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has been demanding that India call off talks with Pakistan following the killings.
Former Pakistan foreign secretary Shahryar Khan and ex-diplomat S.K.Lambah, the points men for Pakistan-India back-channel diplomacy, have met last week to ease tensions between the two sides.