Sushma Swaraj-Sartaj Aziz's SAARC meet in Nepal's Pokhara: As it happened

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held bilateral talks with her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz in Nepal's Pokhara on Thursday.

By Deepak Nagpal | Last Updated: Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 19:26
Image courtesy: ANI

Pokhara (Nepal): External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held a bilateral meeting with Sartaj Aziz, advisor to Pakistan PM on foreign affairs, on Thursday, on the sidelines of SAARC Foreign Ministers' meeting in Nepal's Pokhara.

17 March 2016, 19:26 PM

The development came after Sushma Swaraj's meeting Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz in Nepal's Pokhara.

"It's not possible that I and Pakistan Foreign Affairs Advisor meet (Sartaj Aziz) and Pathankot issue is not taken up. Yes, it was discussed," Sushma Swaraj said.

17 March 2016, 19:23 PM

Minister of External Affairs Sushma on Thursday told media that Pakistan's Joint Investigation Team (JIT) will reach India on March 27  to visit the Pathankot terror attack site.

17 March 2016, 15:10 PM

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj addressed the 37th session of the SAARC Council of Ministers in Pokhara, Nepal a shortwhile ago. She said that SAARC is poised to take off as a region of vitality, creativity and economic growth.

"We must think innovatively and find solutions to harness our economic complementarities. Together, we can create a viable ecosystem of regional integration, co-operation and socio-economic development," she told her counterparts from SAARC nations.

Also Read: SAARC needs to unleash 'collective strength', says Sushma Swaraj

"Economic, cultural and people-to-people contacts will flow naturally from connectivity," she added.

She concluded her address by saying, "We have a shared history and a shared destiny. Let us reach for it together."

17 March 2016, 13:15 PM

17 March 2016, 12:14 PM

17 March 2016, 11:00 AM

37th session of SAARC Council of Ministers' meet begins in Pokhara, Nepal. PM Oli addresses delegations.

17 March 2016, 10:30 AM

17 March 2016, 10:15 AM

Speaking to reporters about his scheduled talks with Sushma Swaraj later this evening, Sartaj Aziz said, "We are always hopeful".

17 March 2016, 10:10 AM

17 March 2016, 10:05 AM

17 March 2016, 09:40 AM

ANI is reporting that the bilateral meeting between Sushma Swaraj and Sartaj Aziz will take place after 4 pm in Pokhara.

17 March 2016, 09:30 AM

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17 March 2016, 09:00 AM

17 March 2016, 08:00 AM

Pathankot airbase attack likely to feature in Sushma Swaraj-Sartaj Aziz bilateral meet

A day after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz were seen engaged in an animated discussion over a dinner here hosted for the ministers of SAARC countries, the duo are all set to hold a bilateral meeting on Thursday evening.

The meeting was sought by Aziz to extend the invitation for Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the SAARC summit, to be hosted by Pakistan later this year, as per media reports.

During the bilateral, Swaraj is expected to nudge Pakistan to take action against the perpetrators of the Pathankot airbase attack, which came days after PM Modi's surprise visit to Lahore on December 25 last year to attend the 66th birthday of his counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

The two leaders arrived in Pokhara on Wednesday to attend the 37th meeting of the SAARC Council of Ministers.

Though details of their discussion on Wednesday during dinner was not known, Indian officials described it as a "social chitchat" between the ministers who were seated alongside.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Choudhry were also seen sitting together at another table during the dinner hosted by SAARC Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa, as per PTI.

The positive tone for the meeting was set on Tuesday during the dinner hosted by Nepal's Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi where the Indian and Pakistani foreign secretaries rubbed shoulders and held informal talks, said officials privy to the dinner.

The prospect of the meeting between Sushma Swaraj and Aziz grew further after they met during a reception hosted by Nepal's Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa on Wednesday evening.

"What I can confirm is that the meeting between Sushma and Aziz has been fixed in Hotel Grand on Thursday evening," said one Indian diplomat, as per IANS.

That meeting would take place once the ministerial meeting is over, he added.

(With Agency inputs)