PM warms up to neighbours ahead of UN meet
Government sources said the PM is keen to meet Pakistan PM Yousuf Raza Gilani. The details of the meeting are still being discussed at official level. Singh will be in New York from September 22-26. Shishir Gupta reports.delhi Updated: Sep 13, 2011 00:33 IST
Keeping the foreign policy focus firmly on South Asia after the Dhaka initiative, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to meet Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa and newly appointed Nepal prime minister Baburam Bhattarai on the sidelines of his four-day visit to attend the UN General Assembly this month.
Government sources said the PM is also keen to meet Pakistan prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. The details of the meeting are still being discussed at official level. Singh will be in New York from September 22-26.
The much -awaited meeting between Singh and US president Barack Obama may not take place as of now as the dates of the two leaders do not coincide as the latter is scheduled to leave New York before Manmohan Singh lands for the UNGA.
However, officials say that the two leaders will meet in case their visits to New York coincide due to last-minute changes of US president's travel plans.
Official sources said the meeting with Bhattarai, who assumed office on August 29, 2011, in the US will be followed by a state level bilateral visit by the veteran Maoist leader to India on his return from the UNGA.
The dates of the meeting at the UNGA and Bhattarai's first bilateral visit to India on his return are being in the process of being finalised. Singh's meeting with Rajapaksa will focus on strengthening economic cooperation.
The meeting with Rajapaksa will be followed by a visit of Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, to Sri Lanka on October 3.
The visit is at the invitation of Colombo.