Indian PM Modi and Pakistani PM Imran likely to meet in Russia

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to meet in Russia in September. Image Credit: Reuters / AFP. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

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DUBAI, Jul 9, 2019, Gulf News. A formal meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to be held in Russia in early September on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, reported the Gulf News.

Both the prime miniters from the neighbouring nuclear states are expected to visit Russian on the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend the EEF which is being held from September 4 to 6.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan had also exchanged pleasantries last month at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit but there were no formal talks. The two leaders did shake hands but there has not been any official meeting between the two leaders since Imran Khan took over as prime minister of Pakistan in August last year. India has not been engaging with Pakistan following the attack on the Air Force base at Pathankot in January of 2016, maintaining that talks and terror cannot go together.

There has been a ‘diplomatic discussion’ with India regarding a possible meeting between the two prime minise, according to The Nation which quoted as official source at the Pakistan Forign Office.

“This (the meeting) is being considered as Russia also wants Pakistan and India to remove misunderstandings and improve ties. We are very clear. We want to meet them (India) anywhere they like. It is for India to decide when they are ready,” said the official. There has been no confirmation from India on Monday.

The Pakistan Foreign Office official said that a meeting between Imran Khan and Modi would definitely be productive for peace in the region. “We have been struggling to convince them (India) that dialogue is the only way (to resolve bilateral issues),” he added.

“Whenever we have contact with the Indian aside (through the diplomatic channels or meetings) we emphasise the importance of dialogue,” he added.

In June, PM Khan had urged Narendra Modi to realise the goal of peace in the region through “collective endeavours.”

The foreign ministry earlier said in line with established diplomatic norms and inter-state practice, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi addressed letters to Indian Prime Minister Modi and Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, congratulating them on assumption of office.

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