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Modi Nawaz exchanged pleasantries in climate Change Conference

01 December, 2015

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PARIS: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Monday exchanged pleasantries on the sidelines of the 21st UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. Modi approached Sharif and had a brief chat with him, said a statement from the PM’s office.

“Both appeared in a friendly mood and the Indian PM left the meeting with a warm handshake with the Pakistani PM,” the statement added.

Diplomatic observers at the summit say there was great warmth between the two leaders. Details of the conversation were not immediately known, but government officials described it as a “courtesy meeting.” Later, talking to reporters Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that both Pakistan and India desired to move forward and ‘all states must keep the door to dialogue open.’

Nawaz said he and his Indian counterpart held a good chat in a good atmosphere. To a question, he said all issues could not be discussed in a brief interaction. The prime minister, however, declined to divulge details of his brief meeting with the Indian prime minister.

He said Pakistan wanted to resolve the issues in an amicable atmosphere. Pakistan also desired to address its political, internal and external issues, he added. He also mentioned his meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and trilateral meeting comprising him, President Ghani and British Prime Minister David Cameron. “Good words were exchanged in a candid atmosphere. If we have good sentiments, we should practise these too,” he remarked.

The prime minister said the Indian side had also expressed desire to take the matters forward.

The brief meeting between the two heads comes amidst heightened tensions between the rivals countries, including cross-border violations and cancelled talks. Earlier this year, the much-hyped security adviser-level talks between the two countries were cancelled after India insisted Kashmir should not be included in the agenda, with Pakistan maintaining it will not accept any pre-conditions.

This has also led to souring cricketing ties, with an Indo-Pak cricket series scheduled for December this year in doldrums.

India has rejected Pakistan’s offer to play in the UAE, while Pakistan says it will not play the series in India after several Pakistani nationals were threatened by Indian right-wing political party, Shiv Sena.

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