India does not rule out Modi-Sharif meet at SAARC

New Delhi: India Sunday did not rule out a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit, saying that Modi is keen to have meaningful dialogues with as many south Asian leaders as possible.

India also said that there was already a framework between the two countries as part of Shimla agreement and Lahore declaration to discuss various issues.

Nawaz Sharif and Narendra ModiNawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi

Answering queries from mediapersons here, external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said India is for cooperative and peaceful ties with Pakistan.

The prime minister is keen "to have meaningful dialogues with as many south Asian colleagues as possible" during the SAARC summit.

"This would mean taking into account all aspects of relationships," he added.

He said the schedule of the bilateral meetings is being finalised, "and it is a work in progress".

"Our intent is to have meaningful dialogues," he said.

Modi will leave here Nov 25 afternoon for the summit in Kathmandu, being held Nov 26-27, and is scheduled to return Nov 27 late evening.

Asked about Nawaz Sharif urging the US President Barack Obama to take up the Kashmir issue with the India, Akbaruddin said India was for cooperative and peaceful ties with Pakistan.

"The framework for achieving those cooperative and peaceful ties is already specified and agreed to between our two countries as part of the Simla Agreement and reiterated during the Lahore declaration," he said.

"There is a simple two-way street to promote peaceful, cooperative ties between India and Pakistan and that is meaningful bilateral dialogue," he said.

Asked if Pakistan had asked for a meeting with India, he said "not to my knowledge."


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