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India, Pak decide to resume dialogue

EAM Pranab Mukherjee and his Pakistani conunterpart Mahmood Qureshi have an overview of the bilateral ties.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi/islamabad
UPDATED ON APR 03, 2008 09:37 PM IST

India and Pakistan on Thursday decided on early resumption of the stalled composite dialogue as External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee called up his counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi to greet him on assumption of office.

During the telephonic conversation, the two leaders had an overview of the bilateral ties and noted improvement in the ties and confidence building.

"It was agreed that meetings under the composite dialogue framework will resume at an early date," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said.

Qureshi said Pakistan would be "proposing dates for holding the review meetings of the fourth round of the ongoing composite dialogue between the two countries," Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.

Qureshi added that he looked forward to welcoming Mukherjee to Pakistan for the review meeting.

The two sides concluded talks on respective eight issues under the fourth round of composite dialogue in August last year. However, the Foreign Secretary-level talks to wrap up the fourth round of talks and launch the fifth round could not take place due to political turmoil in Pakistan.

Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon is likely to travel to Islamabad later this month to resume the dialogue. Mukherjee is also likely to go there soon after.

While thanking Mukherjee, Qureshi stressed the "need and importance of peace and stability in the region for the common benefit of the peoples of the two countries," the statement said.

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