Thursday, July 31, 2008

SAARC leaders to meet on August 2

Foreign Affairs Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee are set to hold bilateral talks on the sidelines of the Council of Ministers meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Corporation on Thursday (today).

The two-day ministers meeting is commencing from today's morning at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall. According to the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry, the foreign ministers of Pakistan, India, Bhutan and Bangladesh had arrived here on Wednesday.

Pranab Mukherjee was holding a series of bilateral meetings with other ministers including an important interaction with Shah Mahmood Qureshi, a diplomat said. However, he refused to divulge the agenda for the talks between Qureshi and Mukherjee.

A Pakistani diplomat also confirmed that Qureshi, who has a detail meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart, is scheduled to meet with the Indian minister today at the Conference Hall. In his arrival statement, Qureshi said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka have traditionally enjoyed close friendly relations.

The relations between the two were based on mutual respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in each other's state, he said.

PM to attend SAARC summit in Colombo: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani will leave for Colombo on August 2, after his US tour where he will participate in the 15th South Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit.

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