India, Pak discuss conventional CBMs

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New Delhi, Oct 18: India and Pakistan today reaffirmed their commitment to upholding the ceasefire and reviewed the implementation of the existing Confidence-Building measures (CBMs) between the two countries.

The two countries which concluded the Fourth Round of the Expert-Level Dialogue on Conventional CBMs here, continued discussions for strengthening the ongoing process of confidence building in the conventional field.

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A Joint Statement issued after the day-long deliberations said that as mandated by the respective Foreign Secretaries, the implementation of the existing CBMs was reviewed.

''...Consultations continued with the aim of strengthening the ongoing process of confidence-building in the conventional field.

The two sides reiterated their commitment to upholding the ceasefire. They also agreed to report the progress made in the present round of talks to the respective Foreign Secretaries,'' the Joint Statement said.

The talks were held in a ''cordial atmosphere,'' it added.

The Indian delegation at the talks was led by Mr T C A Raghavan, Joint Secretary (PAI) in the Ministry of External Affairs, while Mr Aizaz Ahmad Choudhary, Director General (SA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led the Pakistan delegation.

Tomorrow, the two countries will hold discussion on Nuclear CBMs to reduce the risk of accidental nuclear disasters.

On Monday, the two countries will hold the second meeting of the Anti-Terrorism Mechanism.

At the meeting today, the two sides were also to discuss arrangements to deal with Inadvertent border crossers, an Agreement on Prevention of Incidents at Sea and security issues in multi-lateral fora and new CBMs.

However, the Joint Statement did not say whether discussions were held on the issues or not.

The previous round was held in Islamabad in 2006.

The Indian delegation also included representatives of the Ministries of Defence and Home Affairs.

For the Nuclear CBMs, the Indian delegation will be led by Mr K C Singh, Additional Secretary (IO), Ministry of External Affairs, and the Pakistan Side by Mr Khalid Aziz Babar, Additional Secretary (UN and EC), of the Paksistani Foreign Ministry.

The Indian delegation at the talks for Nuclear CBMs tomorrow will include representatives from the Defence Ministry, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), National Security Council Secretariat and DRDO.

UNI

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