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The 'very happy' meeting between Krishna, Hina Rabbani

Last updated on: September 27, 2011 13:57 IST

The 'very happy' meeting between Krishna, Hina Rabbani

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Expressing happiness over meeting his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar at a reception on Tuesday, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said such social exchanges will go a long way in normalising relations with the neighbouring country.

Krishna met Khar briefly at a reception hosted by the Pakistani Mission to the United States at an upscale New York hotel. Khar later escorted Krishna to his vehicle as he left the reception.


Image: Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar
Photographs: Jay Mandal/On Assignment
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Noting that the Pakistani delegation was "obviously very very happy" with his presence at the reception, Krishna said he too was "very pleased" with his visit to the social gathering.


Image: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna with Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar
Photographs: Jay Mandal/On Assignment
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The 'very happy' meeting between Krishna, Hina Rabbani

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Krishna said Khar too expressed pleasure with his presence.

Krishna quoted Khar, who told him that "look at all the smiles on every Pakistani face."


Image: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna with Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar
Photographs: Jay Mandal/On Assignment
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The 'very happy' meeting between Krishna, Hina Rabbani

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"She was extremely warm and I was very pleased that I did go to the reception," Krishna told reporters later.

He said such social exchanges are part of the overall attempt that "we have been making with all seriousness to normalise relations with Pakistan."


Image: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna with Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar
Photographs: Jay Mandal/On Assignment
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The 'very happy' meeting between Krishna, Hina Rabbani

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"These gestures will certainly go a long way in improving the bilateral relationship. I am happy that I did go there," he said.

Echoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's sentiments -- that a country cannot choose its neighbours -- Krishna said it is necessary to normalise relations with Pakistan.


Image: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna with Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar
Photographs: Jay Mandal/On Assignment
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"The fact is that Pakistan happens to be a close neighbour with which we have a connection, in terms of civilisation, common history, background and language.  Hence it is necessary to normalise our relationship," said Krishna.


Image: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna with Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar
Photographs: Jay Mandal/On Assignment
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