Chances for Krishna-Qureshi meeting brightenSeptember 22nd, 2010 - 7:43 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) India’s External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi are going to see each other during at least half a dozen multilateral meetings in New York as the two sides are still hard at work, trying to set up a “substantial” bilateral meeting between them.
No bilateral meeting has been set up yet, sources in the external affairs ministry said here Wednesday, adding that the two ministers are likely to meet during several multilateral meetings on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in the next few days.
Krishna is presently in the US to represent India at the UN General Assembly. The two ministers are going to be present at ministerial meetings of SAARC countries, the Non-Aligned Movement, Commonwealth grouping, Asian Cooperation Dialogue meeting, conference on disarmament and the NAM ministerial meeting on Palestine.
With Krishna and Qureshi likely to be under the same roof on several occasions, there is a strong possibility of a bilateral meeting.
However, both sides are keen that it does not just become a photo-op and are aiming at “meaningful and substantial” bilateral talks that could set the stage for a productive visit by Qureshi to India later this year.
The sharp rhetorical exchanges on Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan’s call for US mediation on Kashmir has, however, soured the atmospherics ahead of a likely meeting.
India has firmly rejected any third-party intervention and asserted that the Kashmir issue can only be resolved bilaterally between India and Pakistan.
If it materialises, it will be the first meeting between the two ministers since the July 15 talks failed over clashing perceptions about the scope of talks and Pakistan’s insistence on a time-line for resolving complex issues like Kashmir.
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