Next round of composite dialogue from July 21

June 27th, 2008 - 6:01 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, June 27 (IANS) India and Pakistan Friday agreed to launch the fifth round of their composite dialogue from July 21 in New Delhi. This was decided after a meeting between India’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. The technical group of the two countries would meet on July 10 to push forward more confidence building measures across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir that could lead to freer movement of people and traffic between the two sides.

The composite dialogue is an essential part of the peace process that has been on track between the two countries for the past four years.

The two ministers, along with other members of their delegations, met for over one-and-a-half hours to discuss the entire range of their bilateral relations. Later, Mukherjee and Qureshi met briefly for a one-on-one meeting.

This was the second meeting between the two leaders in a month since Mukherjee’s visit to Pakistan in May.

The dialogue allows the two sides to discuss all outstanding issues, including terrorism and Jammu and Kashmir.

Qureshi, who landed here Friday morning for a four-day visit, is slated to visit Chandigarh, Jaipur and Ajmer after his meetings with the Indian leadership in Delhi.

The Pakistan minister, on his first visit to India after the new government took office, will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday, besides calling on former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani and former foreign minister Jaswant Singh.

The two sides agreed to continue their fight against terrorists and also stressed the need for maintaining the ceasefire that has been in place along the LoC and their international borders for the past four years.

The two ministers talked on the need for strengthening economic and trade ties and stressed on cooperation in the energy sector.

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