'Useful' talks held with Salman Bashir, says Nirupama Rao

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Thimpu, Feb 7 (ANI): Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao on Monday said her meeting with Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir was "good" and "useful", as all major issues were discussed.

Talking to mediapersons here, Nirupama Rao said both secretaries adopted an open and constructive attitude towards the talks.

"We had a good meeting, it was a useful meeting. We were able to discuss a number of issues of relevance to the relationship between both countries. It was not a discussion dominated by one issue but we talked about the process and to chart the way forward, what the best modalities would be. So, that was really the focus of what we discussed during our meeting. All in all, I think it was a very useful meeting, and both of us adopted an open and constructive attitude, and I am satisfied," she said.

Nirupama Rao said Bashir told her the Pakistan government is committed to taking the dialogue on all outstanding issues forward.

"We should be optimistic and cautiously optimistic because there are many issues which remain to be resolved between our two countries. The nature of the relationship has been very complex. So, we have to be realistic, we should be aware of the realities but we should have a vision for the future; that is important. And that is what our Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) feels, and I believe from what the Pakistani Foreign Secretary told me, he said their government is also committed to taking the dialogue with India on all outstanding issues forward in a constructive way," she added.

Nirupama Rao and Bashir had met for about 90 minutes last night and agreed that positive and cordial relations were in mutual interest of both the countries and they needed to work in this direction.

Both the diplomats led a delegation of six officials for the deliberations ahead of the 33rd Ministerial-level conference of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)

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