Manmohan arrives in Maldives for SAARC Summit

Written by: Pti
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Manmohan Singh
Male, Nov 9: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived here today on a four-day visit to Maldives during which he will attend the SAARC Summit and have a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The two-day Summit begins Thursday in Addu Islands after which Singh will leave for Male, capital of Maldives, for bilateral discussions with President Mohamed Nasheed on Saturday.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to meet Gilani tomorrow.

The MFN issue is likely to come up during the talks between the two Premiers and a clarity on it may emerge after some sort of flip-flop on the part of Islamabad in explaining the decision.

The two Prime Ministers are also expected to review progress in bilateral ties.

They last met in March when Gilani accepted Singh's invitation to watch the India-Pakistan cricket World Cup semi-final in Mohali. Their last formal talks took place during the 2010 SAARC summit in Bhutan.

The Foreign Secretaries of the two countries, who are already in Maldives, met yesterday to discuss bilateral issues and matters relating to the prime ministerial meeting.

Ranjan Mathai and Salman Bashir expressed satisfaction on the engagement process and agreed that "stable, normal and predictable" ties were in their interest as well as of the region.


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