Pakistan will always stand by Saudi Arabia, says Imran

PM hopes India will mend its ways

Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers will meet in NY on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly next week, the government said today.

Khan's letter was in response to Modi's own communication to him seeking a "meaningful and constructive" engagement between the 2 countries.

He further said that Saudi people extended a warm welcome to Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Mentioning Kashmir as the core issue of dispute between the two nations, he had said it was about time that the two countries sat across the table and discussed the issues of concern.

"We have decided that the meeting will be held [between Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi]", said a spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi.

During Wednesday's weekly briefing, FO Spokesman Muhammad Faisal had said ─ while responding to a question about the chances of a bilateral meeting between the FMs on the sidelines of the UNGA ─ that no decision had yet been taken on it.

"A high-level coordination committee has has been constituted [to look into matters of trade and commerce] and it has the complete backing of the Saudi King, His Highness Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, as well as the Crown Prince [Mohammad bin Salman] and PM Khan", Fawad Chaudhry said.

Khan's letter also comes in the middle of disillusionment which had started to set in India in the past few weeks with the Pakistan government.

Qureshi, in his maiden address before taking the post of foreign minister in August, had stated that, "My message is for the Government of India". In the letter, Imran Khan has said that all sticky issues including Kashmir can be resolved through dialogue.

According to reports, this is the first concrete step for resolution of differences between India and Pakistan since 2015, when Swaraj had attended a "Heart of Asia" conference in Islamabad.

He is visiting the kingdom on the invitation of His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince His Royal Highness Mohammad Bin Salman, a statement released by the Foreign Office of Pakistan said earlier. The efforts were stalled after the terror attacks on the Pathankot airbase and Army camp in Uri in 2016.

In his letter to PM Modi, Khan wrote: "Pakistan and India have an undeniably challenging relationship".

Later, Pakistan also issued a clarification saying that his minister never said Indian PM offered a dialogue.



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