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Modi-Sharif meeting not ruled out

By The Assam Tribune

KATHMANDU, Nov 24 � India today did not rule out a possible meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Nepal on the margins of the SAARC Summit, with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj saying �wait till tomorrow�, reports PTI.

Swaraj, who arrived here today to attend the 18th SAARC Summit, said she was happy to be in Nepal in just three and a half months after her first bilateral visit to the country in July.

When asked about a possible meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Sharif, Swaraj said, �Wait till tomorrow.�

Replying to a question on bilateral meetings on the sidelines of SAARC, Sharif�s Advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz said, �Well, I think one or two are fixed. The rest are not yet fixed.�

On the possibility of Modi-Sharif meeting, he said, �No plans yet.� When pressed further, Aziz said, �If the initiative (for the meeting) comes from the other side.�

On a possible meeting with Swaraj, Aziz said, �Well if she requests, I will.�

Asked whether the summit will be overshadowed by Indo-Pak relationship, Aziz said, �I hope not. The SAARC is more important...�

The statements by Swaraj and Aziz came as Pakistani media reported that the two premiers may interact on the sidelines of the two-day Summit from Wednesday.

�The two prime ministers will come face-to-face at the retreat ceremony in Kathmandu,� a Pakistani official was quoted as saying by Express Tribune.

As part of a tradition, the heads of states and governments attending the SAARC Summit are taken for a retreat after the inauguration of the conference in order to create a conducive environment for bilateral meetings, the report said.

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