Singh 'looking forward' to meet Nawaz in New York
26 September, 2013
NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh confirmed Wednesday he will meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif this weekend in a major step towards better relations following rising tensions.
Singh said he will hold talks with Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the first such meeting in three years, amid heightened friction over a string of deadly military attacks across their border in disputed Kashmir. "During my visit to New York, I... look forward to bilateral meetings with the leaders of some of our neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan," Singh said in a statement before leaving for the United States.
Singh will first head to Washington to meet President Barack Obama to try to strengthen economic ties between the two world's largest democracies, including on nuclear power, before leaving for New York. New Delhi and Islamabad have been working behind the scenes in recent weeks to secure a meeting, which was in jeopardy after deadly skirmishes in recent weeks between their militaries. The attacks repeatedly broke a ceasefire in place since 2003 along the Line of Control in Kashmir.
Analyst KG Suresh said the incidents in Kashmir, along with attacks allegedly by Pakistani militants on Indian soil, were among issues expected to be raised at the meeting. But Suresh told AFP that talk of a resumption of peace talks as a direct result of the meeting was premature.