Arunachal, Dalai Lama not discussed at Manmohan, Jiabao meet

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Hua Hin (Thailand), Oct. 24 (ANI): Seeking to lower temperatures between India and China in the wake of recent verbal spats, both Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao did not discuss the territorial dispute over Arunachal Pradesh nor the proposed visit to that state of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama.

The much awaited bilateral interaction stuck to a pre-determined script of an exchange of views on issues of bilateral, regional and multilateral importance, with a focus on taking the strategic partnership forward in a constructive manner.

The two leaders met at Hotel Dusit Thani, the venue of the seventh ASEAN and fourth East Asia summits.

The meeting's objective was clear from the start-to ease tensions between the two countries.

The meeting lasted for about fifty minutes.

Terming his meeting with Jiabao as productive, Dr. Singh said it was a good discussion and the two sides agreed to further promote their strategic and cooperative partnership and to build trust and understanding.

He also congratulated Wen Jiabao on the 60th anniversary celebrations of the establishment of the People's Republic of China and said that he was excited to meet him.

Jiabao said he only wanted a healthy relationship with India.

"We want to have a healthy and steady relationship with India. I hope we can use this opportunity to exchange our views on all related issues," he added.

Both countries struck conciliatory notes after provocative statements from China on Arunachal Pradesh evoked a sharp reaction from India.

China regards Arunachal Pradesh a disputed territory and objected to Dr. Singh's visit there for assembly polls.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, the Prime Minister's Principal Secretary T K A Nair and Secretary (East) N Ravi attended the meeting from the Indian side. By Lokendra Singh (ANI)

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