US welcomes proposed Pak-India FMs' meeting on Sidelines of UNGA

US welcomes proposed Pak-India FMs' meeting on Sidelines of UNGA

Washington (Agencies): The United States on Friday welcomed the proposed meeting between foreign ministers of Pakistan and India on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York.

Addressing a media briefing in Washington, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said that it is "terrific" news for the Pakistanis and Indians to be able to sit down and have a conversation together.

Citing the letters exchanged between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Nauert expressed the hope that the conditions will be set for a good and strong relationship in future.

On Thursday, Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated that Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi will meet in New York.

According to Indian MEA spokesperson, Qureshi and Swaraj will meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York scheduled later this month.

"India has accepted the Pakistani prime minister's suggestion," the spokesperson said. "The meeting will take place on Pakistan's request."

The Indian MEA spokesperson said the decision was taken after Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote a letter to Indian Premier Narendra Modi.

Prime Minister Khan, in the letter to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, sought resumption of the peace dialogue between the two countries.

According to Indian media, PM Imran Khan in his letter called for a meeting between Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York scheduled later this month.

The Indian PM, in his letter written on August 20, had called for a “meaningful and constructive” engagement between the two countries.

PM Khan in his letter acknowledged that the relations between both the countries face several challenges but that Pakistan is ready for talks on all issues, including terrorism.

He urged that the two foreign ministers should initiate the resumption of dialogue and meet on the sidelines of UNGA.

As per the report, PM Imran's letter was written in response to the Indian PM Narendra Modi who congratulated Khan for assuming office.

The PM stressed the need for resolution of all major outstanding issues through including Kashmir, Sir Creek and Siachen, through dialogue.

Imran Khan urged that the two neighbours should to take measures for the peace and betterment of their nations as well as the future generations.

On July 31, the Indian PM also telephoned Imran Khan and congratulated him over his victory in the general elections. During the conversation, PM Modi said that India was ready to enter a new era of relations with Pakistan.

He expressed the hope that democracy will take deeper roots in Pakistan and reiterated his vision of peace and development in the entire neighbourhood.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his first speech after winning the general election, had said that he was keen to improve relations with India and wanted work to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue.

This is pertinent to mention that Pakistan and India have not been engaged in any significant dialogue since 2015.