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India looking forward to Pak Foreign Minister's visit

delhi Updated: Jan 07, 2011 15:25 IST

India is expecting Pakistan Foreign Minister S M Qureshi to be in New Delhi in the next couple of months, before which the foreign secretaries of the two countries will meet to "clear the ground for a very productive meeting" between the two foreign ministers.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said, "The indication given to me by Qureshi was that sometime in the first quarter of 2011, he would be visiting Delhi and we are looking forward to it."

He said before Qureshi's visit "two foreign secretaries will meet and clear the ground for a very productive meeting at the level of foreign ministers."

Krishna rejected a contention that his previous meeting with Qureshi in Islamabad failed due to lack of proper ground work done by the officials in the two countries.

He recalled that at the time of his meeting with Qureshi in July last year, there were interactions between the foreign secretaries of two countries.

He said that India was in touch with the government of Pakistan on the issue of exporting onions. "We have initiated talks and before not too long we are hopeful that we will find solution to this.....," he said.

Asked about the agenda for the meeting, the minister said the country would like to engage Pakistan to sort out outstanding issues.

"We would like to engage Pakistan in a dialogue and there is no alternative other than talking to Pakistan and keeping them engaged thereby sorting out outstanding issues," he said.

Asked about the reported confession by RSS leader Aseemanand on his role in the Samjhauta Express train blast and if India will convey it to Pakistan, he said, "All such issues are taken up with respective governments and his ministry will certainly do so".

Giving a round-up of the foreign ministry for 2010, he said international terrorism has been a core foreign policy concern for India for some time now.

"We have been victims of vicious kind of cross-border terror for well over two decades," he said.

Apparently referring to Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI, he said terrorism is being backed by official agencies and is being used continuously against the country as a political and economical weapon.