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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

India, Pak Foreign Secretary talks

Kickstarting the fourth round of the Composite Dialogue Process (CDP), India and Pakistan began their Foreign Secretary-level talks here this morning to narrow down differences on a host of issues includng terrorism.

Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon met his Pakistani conterpart Riaz Mohammad Khan at the majestic Hyderabad House and shook hands before they moved in to begin two days of hectic deliberations.

The two sides are expected to give shape to the point Mechanism on Terrorism which was proposed at the meeting between Prime Ministyer Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf at Havana on the sidelines onthe NAM Summit in September.

The proposed Joint Mechanism on Terror is likely to be given shape at the talks which are being held after a gap of nearly one year. Terrorism will be the main focus of the talks which will also review the progress on the three rounds of the Composite Dialogue Process (CDP) held so far.

Siachen and Sir Creek issues could also come up although no concrete progress is expected. The talks which were to be held in July, were put on hold after the 7/11 Mumbai bomb blasts. The Pakistan Foreign Secretary, leading a nine-member team, arrived here from Lahore last evening for the talks.

Immediately after his arival at the airport, he said he was looking forward to ''very constructive discussions.'' Sources said the Pakistan Foreign Secretary will also call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

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