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Dr Singh to meet Zardari in Russia

June 12, 2009 19:15 IST

In the first top-level contact between India and Pakistan after Mumbai attacks, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari will meet in Russia on the sidelines of a multilateral summit next week to break ice in the bilateral ties.

Singh and Zardari, both of whom will be in Yekaterinburg for the Summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on June 15 and 16, will have a brief interaction during which they are expected to talk about the bilateral ties and the way forward.

"They (Singh and Zardari) will be in the same room, same place, same time. I am sure they will be meeting but what sort of meeting is very difficult to say because time limited," Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said while briefing reporters on Singh's three-day visit to Russia beginning Monday.

"They (Singh and Zardari) will, I am sure, meet, shake hands but more than it is hard to predict at this stage," he said while clarifying that it would not be a structured meet.

He also did not specify when the meeting will take place, merely saying that the time for such an interaction would be less as the Prime Minister would be arriving in the Russian city on Monday evening and would be attending the SCO plenary the next morning before the Brazil-Russia-India-China (BRIC) Summit the same evening.

This will be the first highest-level contact between the two countries since the 26/11 attacks as India has suspended dialogue. 
 

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