Indian, Pak PMs Should Decide On Their Meeting As They Head For UN General Assembly Session: US

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File Photo: Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif
Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif (File Photo)

The United States has said that India and Pakistan Prime Minsters should decide on the time and place for their meeting as the respective leaders head toward New York to attend the UN General Assembly session raising possibility of a meeting.

“They (leaders of India and Pakistan) have to determine what is the right place and right time (for a meeting). We would certainly welcome it, whether it is on the margins of the UN or any other venue and timing. That is really for the two countries to determine,” Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal told PTI.

The two leaders, however, have so far not indicated about any possible meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Biswal on being ask specifically if the US would like the two leaders to meet in New York, she reiterated that it is for them to decide on the time and the place and the character of that. “So I do not think it is helpful for us to really reign on that,” she said.

Biswal, describing the relationship between India and Pakistan as “a very complex”one, said that the US is encouraged that the two leaders continue to seek opportunities to engage and to advance constructive dialogue.

“We were disappointed that the NSA (National Security Advisor) talks did not materialise. I understand that there were very complicated dynamics under way. We continue to believe that for there to be true security, stability and prosperity there needs to be a constructive relationship between the two countries,” said Biswal.

She also said that It is for the two countries to advance that and we have always said that it is for India and Pakistan to determine how and how and where they engage. “But we do think that they need to engage. And we would be supportive of those efforts. And we are willing to support that in any way the countries determine. But it is for them (to decide),” she added.

Obama Administration’s point person for South and Central Asia Biswal, however, denied that the US is pushing leaders of India and Pakistan to meet. “I would not say that we are really pushing them. This needs to be driven by the two countries, but we certainly welcome it, support it and encourage it,” she said.

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