India, Pakistan start ministerial talks for peaceful ties

17:01, July 27, 2011      

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Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna (L) and his Pakistan's counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar shake hands before their talk at Hyderabad house in New Delhi, India, on July 27, 2011. (Xinhua/Partha Sarkar)

Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Wednesday started talks with newly appointed Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar here and both sides are expected to take the relations forward with more confidence building measures in the meeting.

"We come here with a positive outlook," Khar said while calling for "good, friendly relations" between the two countries. Khar also urged the two countries to work for peace, prosperity and stability in the region.

A host of key issues including Kashmir, terror, Siachen, Sir Creek, trade, confidence-building measures and people-to-people contact will be discussed.

Welcoming Khar to India, Krishna said: "I look forward to working closely with her in forging a peaceful and cooperative relationship between India and Pakistan, which is in the interest of peace and development of both our countries, the region and beyond."

"I visualize a resurgent South Asia, proudly marching forth on a path of development, in a terror free and harmonious atmosphere, " he said.

Ahead of the talks, foreign secretaries of the two countries Nirupama Rao and Salman Bashir had on Tuesday finalized a slew of Confidence Building Measures designed to expand travel and trade across the disputed Kashmir area.

After a break since Mumbai terrorist attack in 2008, the two countries in February this year decided to resume talks on all bilateral issues, which were earlier being discussed under Composite Dialogue. Subsequently, talks were held at levels of Defence, Interior and Commerce Secretaries and other official levels and capped with the on going ministerial meeting.
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