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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Foreign ministers of India and Pakistan begin talks

India's external affairs minister SM Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar on Wednesday (27-July-2011) began talks that are expected to culminate in a host of confidence-building measures (CBMs).
While India will talk of eradicating terror in the region, Pakistan is expected to insist on maintaining peace in the area.

The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan are expected to follow a carefully drafted template to take the peace process forward through a 'step-by-step' approach.

In his public welcoming remarks, Mr Krishna said, "India looks forward to a cooperative relationship with Pakistan... it is in the interest of peace not only for our two countries but for the entire region and beyond. Perhaps we owe this to ourselves as well as to succeeding generations."

Ms Khar, who is Pakistan's youngest Foreign Minister, said, "Pakistan sees good friendly and cooperative relations with India as an important neighbour.
"We feel the relationship between the two countries should not be held hostage by the past." She also stressed that officials on both sides must be "respectful of the reality of the two countries."

The meeting comes five months after the South Asian neighbours resumed bilateral discussions.

Talks were suspended after the 2008 Mumbai (Bombay) attacks which India blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

But earlier this year, leaders vowed to resume their dialogue.

Correspondents say the talks are unlikely to throw up any major policy statements, but they will be another step in improving relations between the neighbours.

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