Kathmandu, Nov 25 (IANS): Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today briefly met and shook hands with top Pakistani official Sartaj Aziz on the eve of the Saarc Summit beginning here on Wednesday.
"It was out of courtesy," Sushma Swaraj said later, when journalists wanted to know if their meeting was a sign that the Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers would meet on the sidelines of the summit.
"If you meet ministers of other countries at an international platform, you greet each other," she added.
Aziz is the national security adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He and Sushma Swaraj are taking part in the meeting of the Saarc council of ministers Tuesday. The Saarc summit is due on November 26 and 27.
A senior Nepali diplomat told IANS that Sushma Swaraj and Aziz addressed each other by their first names.
Although India and Pakistan have not sought a meeting with one another, Nepalese officials say that Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif are likely to meet on Wednesday.
Nepal has said it is going to facilitate talks between the two countries, at least during the retreat on Thursday.
Modi arrives in Kathmandu:Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Kathmandu today to attend the 18th Saarc Summit.
Modi, who arrived in a special Indian Air Force aircraft, is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and witness the signing of a number of bilateral agreements with the Himalayan nation later in the day.
He is also likely to hold bilateral meetings with leaders of the member states of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (Saarc) on the sidelines of the summit.