EAM Sushma Swaraj meets Sartaj Aziz in Nepal’s Pokhara

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Indian foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday met Sartaj Aziz, advisor to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs, a day before the crucial SAARC the Council of Ministers meet in Pokhara .

Swaraj is there to  attend the 37th SAARC Foreign Ministerial-level meeting.

News agency ANI quoted Aziz as saying, “Let’s hope we (India-Pak) have a good discussion. It was a small talk. Kal mulaqaat hogi.”

When asked whether the Pathankot issue be discussed between the, Aziz said, “Let’s hope”.

The 42nd Standing Committee of SAARC, which is a Foreign Secretaries level forum, kicked off on wedneasday.

“These meetings will prepare the ground for the 37th session of the Council of Ministers on March 17, which will be attended by the Foreign Ministers of SAARC. These meetings are a part of regular interactions within the SAARC framework,” said MEA official spokesperson Vikas Swarup during a media briefing on March 10.

The last round of meetings was held in Kathmandu in November 2014 prior to the 18th SAARC summit.

“We expect these meetings to afford us an opportunity for a comprehensive review of decisions that have been taken across all SAARC forums over the past year-and-a-half. Our focus would be not only to take stock of these situations but also work out the way forward on priority issues where a coordinated approach is necessary,” he said.

“We also hope to review the state of play on agreements that were close to finalisation at the last Summit but could not be concluded. We also plan to seek the views of our partners in SAARC on the key initiatives mooted by us at the last Summit, including the SAARC satellite, the E-Knowledge network project etc,” said Swarup.

As is customary, he said, the working of the various SAARC specialised bodies and regional centres will be scrutinized during the meetings and directions given for their work over the coming year.

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