Monday, June 15, 2009

President Zardari, PM Manmohan to Meet in Russia

Pakistan Monday said the meeting of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and
President Asif Ali Zardari in Russia — the first top-level contact
after 26/11 — will "have a salutary impact" on bilateral ties.

It is for the first time that Pakistan has confirmed the meeting,
which will be held on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation
Organisation (SCO) summit here.

"It is a welcome development and will have a salutary impact,"
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was quoted as saying.

"The two leaders will have a one-on-one meeting," he said without
divulging more details. "Let the meeting take place and then we can
talk after it is over," he said.

Asked about the agenda, Qureshi said, "We can't prejudge the outcome
of the meeting," and added that it was an "important meeting" between
two important leaders.

On how long the meeting was expected to last, he said, "When two
national leaders meet, time is of no significance."

The two leaders last met in September 2008 on the sidelines of UN
General Assembly in New York.

This will be the first highest-level contact between the two countries
since the Mumbai attacks last year as India has suspended dialogue
till Pakistan takes "concrete" action against those behind the strikes
and dismantles the terror infrastructure.

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