India, Pak kickstart fourth round of talks

Updated on Mar 13, 2007 02:32 PM IST

The fourth round of composite dialogue between India and Pakistan was kickstarted on Tuesday.

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PTI | ByAjay Kaul, Islamabad

The fourth round of composite dialogue between India and Pakistan was kickstarted on Tuesday with Foreign Secretaries of the two countries meeting in Islamabad with a desire to take forward the peace process launched in 2004.

At the two-day talks, the two sides will discuss eight outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, terrorism, Siachen and Sir Creek besides various confidence building measures. New Delhi wants Islamabad to take effective and concrete steps to curb cross-border terrorism as promised by it and this will be conveyed at the meeting.

As they began their parleys, both Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and his Pakistani counterpart Riaz Mohammad Khan underlined that the two countries wanted to take the peace process forward and expressed hope that their talks would be fruitful.

"We want to take relations forward," Menon said in his opening remarks at the meeting which, he hoped, would be constructive.

Khan also hoped that his discussions with Menon would be "fruitful", adding that the improved weather conditions in Islamabad on Tuesday after several days of rains was a good omen for the talks.

Noting that three rounds of composite dialogue had brought the two sides this round, he expressed confidence that they would be able to "advance the peace process further".

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