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Singh, Gilani 'brief encounter' likely in US: Report

world Updated: Apr 10, 2010 13:15 IST
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Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan may have "a brief encounter" in Washington on the sidelines of the April 12-13 Nuclear Security Summit, though proper talks between them are more likely during a SAARC meet in Bhutan this month, a media report said in Islamabad on Saturday.

Though the Americans would prefer to arrange a proper meeting between the two Prime Ministers on the margins of the nuclear summit next week, New Delhi's "continued refusal to hold political-level talks with Islamabad makes it look impossible," the Dawn newspaper quoted unnamed diplomatic sources as saying.

Diplomatic observers, however, did not rule out the possibility of a "brief encounter" between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The Americans are "very keen" to initiate a dialogue between the two neighbours in Washington, the report said.

The report quoted Indian and Pakistani diplomats in Washington as "indicating that the two sides could hold Prime Minister-level discussions in Bhutan on the sidelines of a SAARC summit in late April."

Gilani and Singh will spend two days in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, and this will provide them with the opportunity to resume their bilateral talks stalled since their first meeting in Egypt in July last year, it said.

The Foreign Secretaries of the two countries met in New Delhi on February 25 but their talks did not lead to any breakthrough. Pakistan had then given a roadmap that envisaged a meeting between the Foreign Ministers in Islamabad, followed by the summit meeting in Thimphu.

India has said it prefers a step-by-step approach to normalising relations and called on Pakistan to do more to rein in terrorist groups like the Lashker-e-Taiba.