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No talks with Pakistani counterpart: Sibal

July 09, 2003 20:15 IST

Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal ruled out having any talks with his Pakistani counterpart Riaz H Khokar on the sidelines of the two-day South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Standing Committee meeting, which began in Kathmandu on Wednesday.

"India has asked Pakistan to take certain steps and talks are not possible unless Pakistan convinces India on that," Sibal said.

India will present its views on convening the postponed SAARC summit in Islamabad when the matter comes up for discussions during the meeting, he said.

Besides India and Pakistan, foreign secretaries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka are participating in the meeting.

On the first day of their deliberations, the foreign secretaries discussed the budget for the SAARC Regional Centres, reports presented by technical committees on various topics, the South Asian Free Trade Agreement, the South Asian Fund and social development.

Earlier, inaugurating the session, Nepal Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa said there was an urgent need to negotiate the framework of the SAFTA treaty before the next summit.

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