New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan Prime Minister's Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz are likely to meet on the sidelines of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) ministerial-level meeting in Nepal.
According to The Express Tribune, both India and Pakistan were exploring possibilities of meeting between Swaraj and Aziz and also between the foreign secretaries of both the countries. And if everything goes as planned, the two leaders will meet in the Pokhara city of Nepal this week.
Both Sushma and Aziz will be in Pokhara for the SAARC Council of Foreign Minister's meeting on March 16 and 17.
One of the senior Pakistani officials told PTI that Islamabad was ready to resume the dialogue at any time and was also open to the meeting between Aziz and Swaraj in Nepal. However, he added that Pakistan till now hasn't received any proposal from India for the meeting between the two leaders in Nepal.
The SAARC foreign minister-level meeting will be inaugurated by Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli on Thursday.
While the 52nd session of the programming committee of the SAARC, which is a director general or joint secretary-level forum, will be held on March 14-15, the 42nd session of the standing committee, which is a foreign secretaries-level forum, will be held on March 16.
“These meetings will prepare the ground for the 37th session of the council of ministers on March 17 which will be attended by the foreign ministers of SAARC,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup had said at a media briefing in New Delhi on Thursday.
“Joint secretary (SAARC), Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will be proceeding to Nepal for SAARC-related meetings in Pokhara between March 14 and 17," Swarup said.
“The last round of meetings was held in Kathmandu in November 2014 prior to the 18th SAARC Summit.”
The spokesman said that these meetings would offer an opportunity for a comprehensive review of the decisions that have been taken across all SAARC forums over the last one-and-a-half years.
(With agency inputs)