Indian and Pakistani foreign secretaries will discuss Friday the final contours of a possible meeting between Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly in New York in September.
The secretaries will also discuss potential dates for External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh's visit to Pakistan, officials in ministry of external affairs said.
There is no final confirmation from the Prime Minister's Office that Vajpayee would meet Musharraf at the UN. However, sources said the PM has kept almost the entire third week of September free for New York visit.
Foreign Secretary Chokila Iyer is in Colombo for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation's standing committee meeting, which was originally slated for June 8 in Kathmandu. She will be meeting her Pakistani counterpart Inamul Haq on Friday, where the resumption of high-level contacts between the two countries will be discussed.
The MEA has shortlisted three sets of dates for Vajpayee's visit to New York. The date will be finalised according to Musharraf's programme, officials pointed out.
The SAARC standing committee is expected to finalise a date for the next SAARC summit of the seven south Asian countries. The secretaries will also finalise a date for the meeting of SAARC foreign ministers.
However, during Iyer's meeting with Inamul Haq, their focus will be on resuming the peace process between the two countries, officials said.
A delegation of officials from the foreign ministries of the two countries have already met in Colombo to finalise the meeting between the foreign secretaries.
However, it is increasingly becoming clear that Vajpayee will meet Musharaf in New York, despite some tough talk by the Indian establishment. "There is a sincere desire to continue the peace talks," officials say.
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