India-Pakistan foreign ministers to meet on sidelines of UNGA in New York
New Delhi, Sep 20: India on Thursday confirmed a meeting between Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York next week.
This will be the first ministerial-level engagement with Pakistan under the new Imran Khan-led government.
"I can confirm that on the request of the Pakistani side, a meeting between EAM and Pakistani foreign minister will take place on the sidelines of UNGA at a mutually convenient date and time," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
"We have just agreed to the meeting. The agenda is not finalized," Kumar said.
An informal meeting of SAARC foreign ministers will take place in New York on the sidelines of the UNGA session. It is expected to take place around September 26-27. Swaraj and Qureshi will head the delegations of their respective countries to the UNGA.
Imran Khan on Thursday a letter to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, the Foreign Office said here Thursday, seeking to re-start the bilateral talks on key issues "challenging the relationship" including on terrorism and Kashmir.
In the letter dated September 14, the cricketer-turned-politician, who became the prime minister last month, proposed a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York this month.
"Building on the mutual desire for peace between our two countries, I wish to propose a meeting between Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, before the informal meeting of the SAARC foreign ministers at the sidelines of the upcoming UN General Assembly in New York," Khan wrote.
Pakistan and India have an "undeniably challenging relationship", he said, while responding to Modi's letter to him on August 18.