External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday interacted briefly with Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz here on the margins of the SAARC Foreign Minister’s meeting during which they exchanged pleasantries.
Ms. Swaraj, who arrived in Kathmandu on Monday to attend the 18th SAARC Summit, and Mr. Aziz participated in the Foreign Minister’s meeting on Tuesday which deliberated on the agenda of the summit beginning on Wednesday where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other heads of states and government will participate.
“I met him out of courtesy. It is a common courtesy that when representatives of different countries meet in an international fora, they greet each other and this is how we met,” Ms. Swaraj said when asked about her interaction with Mr. Aziz on the margins of the Foreign Minister’s meeting.
Their brief interaction came amid speculation over a possible meeting between Prime Minister Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif.
Asked about whether a Modi-Sharif meeting was on the cards, Ms. Swaraj said, “I had said yesterday. Please wait.”
When asked about the meeting, Mr. Aziz refused to comment.
On Monday Ms. Swaraj, when asked about the possible Modi-Sharif meeting, had said, “Wait till tomorrow.”
As part of a tradition, the heads of states and governments attending the SAARC Summit are taken for a retreat after the inauguration of the conference in order to create a conducive environment for bilateral meetings.
Mr. Sharif had attended Mr. Modi’s swearing-in ceremony in May and held bilateral talks but the two leaders have not met since then.
India in August called off foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan after Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit held talks with Kashmiri separatists.