Siddharth Varadarajan

Manmohan, Hu review bilateral ties; want border talks expedited

New Delhi: Acknowledging that Pakistan’s new democratic government was in serious financial difficulties and had been forced to turn to the International Monetary Fund for emergency assistance, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said that his government “will support Pakistan getting help from the IMF.”

Giving an account of his meeting with President Hu Jintao of China during the ASEM summit, Dr. Singh said the two leaders had had an “extremely pleasant” exchange of views. Apart from the financial crisis, the Prime Minister discussed with President Hu the importance of bilateral collaboration on trans-boundary river issues. The Chinese leader mentioned that the Expert Level Mechanism which had been established since 2007 had met twice and was functioning well. “Both of us have expressed confidence that these meetings are a good beginning,” said the Prime Minister.

Dr. Singh said that when President Hu Jintao had last come to India, “we had fixed a target of $60 billion in 2010. Both of us expressed confidence that the target will be realised.”

Giving an account of his discussions on the boundary issue, the Prime Minister said both leaders “expressed our keen desire to find an early settlement.” We expressed satisfaction at the work of our special representatives, he said, and we both agreed that we should instruct our special representatives to expedite the process. “In the meanwhile, both of us reaffirmed our desire that peace and tranquillity should be maintained at the borders as agreed earlier.”

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