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Pak PM to attend US nuclear summit

world Updated: Mar 04, 2010 16:38 IST
Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will attend a US summit on nuclear security, but no talks are scheduled on the sidelines with his Indian counterpart, an official said Thursday.

Nuclear-armed rivals Pakistan and India last week held their first official talks since the November 2008 attacks on India's financial capital Mumbai, which New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based militants, suspending peace talks.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is also due in Washington next month for the summit hosted by US President Barack Obama which will focus on securing vulnerable nuclear materials and preventing acts of nuclear terrorism.

"It has been decided that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will attend the nuclear security summit being held in Washington on April 12-13," foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit told a press briefing in Islamabad.

"It is an important event, which will help enhance international understanding on the issue of nuclear security," he added.

The spokesman said he was unaware of any meeting scheduled between the Pakistani and Indian prime ministers on the sidelines of the summit.

"I don't know yet," Basit said.

India and Pakistan both conducted underground tests in 1998, substantially raising the stakes in the traditional rivalry between the South Asian neighbours, which have fought three wars since independence in 1947.

The Mumbai attacks stalled slow-moving peace talks between India and Pakistan. The resumption of official talks last Thursday ended with expressions of goodwill but little agreement on how to take the dialogue forward.