Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Pakistan-India peace talks resume

The governments of India and Pakistan have agreed to resume wide-ranging peace talks (AP)

The governments of India and Pakistan said they have agreed to resume wide-ranging peace talks that were frozen after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The decision comes after a year of discussions by top officials from the nuclear-armed rivals about how to rebuild trust between the neighbouring countries.

The two governments announced they would restart the talks in a joint statement issued simultaneously in New Delhi and Islamabad.

The statement said the talks would focus on counter-terrorism, humanitarian issues, peace and security, the fate of Kashmir - a region claimed by both countries - and other border issues.

Pakistan prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani welcomed the talks and praised his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, for the "opening of a new chapter in the relations between the two countries, which Pakistan fully reciprocates".

The US has been pressing the nuclear-armed rivals to restart their peace efforts in the hope that reducing tensions along their border would free Pakistan to focus on its fight against Taliban militants - a key element of US strategy in Afghanistan.

The decision followed talks on Sunday between the foreign secretaries of the two countries in Bhutan, the latest in a year-long string of meetings of top officials intended to rebuild the shattered trust of the two nations.

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