PM Nawaz may meet Modi in Washington, says Aziz

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  • PM’s adviser on foreign affairs emphasises on enhancing Pak-Iran cooperation

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif may meet his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi later this month on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit, a top aide to the premier has said.

“There are chances of meeting between the two (prime ministers),” PM Sharif’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz told Press Trust of India on Saturday.

“There are possibilities, when they are here (in Washington DC). They would interact with each other. Whether there would be a structured meeting I do not know. Depends on…Chances are there (for a meeting),” Aziz said.

The top Pakistani diplomat is in Washington to attend the sixth US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue which he co-chaired with Secretary of State John Kerry the other day.

Aziz said PM Sharif would be travelling to Washington to attend the Nuclear Security Summit at the invitation of US President Barack Obama. Modi too has been invited to the summit on March 31 and April 1. No official announcement has been made yet.

Responding to a question on the status of India-Pak relationship after Modi came to power in May 2014, Aziz said in the first year the situation was “not good”.

Meanwhile, Aziz, while talking to Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif on the sidelines of the 14th Ministerial Meeting of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), said that the historic and brotherly relations between Pakistan and Iran needed to be further strengthened in all spheres of cooperation, especially trade and economy.

He said that the people and government of Pakistan were looking forward to the forthcoming visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Islamabad.

Other issues of international and regional importance were also discussed during the meeting.

In view of the challenges in the region, the Adviser underscored the need for strengthening the unity of the Islamic Ummah.

The Iranian minister noted that bilateral ties between Pakistan and Iran were expanding in all areas of mutual interest. He also appreciated Pakistan’s role and efforts in the fight against terrorism and its contribution to the Afghan reconciliation process.

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