No chance of Modi-Nawaz meeting

nawazaClose ties with neighbours top priority: Modi

NEW DELHI: Ahead of his Nepal visit to attend the SAARC summit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said development of close relations with neighbours was a key priority for his government as he looks forward to hold talks with other South Asian heads of state and government on the margins of the summit.

While Modi’s official programme has no mention of his meeting with Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, he would be meeting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa among others.

Modi, who will attend the 18th SAARC summit on November 26-27, said he also hopes to conclude some concrete agreements in the areas of connectivity and development cooperation.

“Although this is my first SAARC summit, during the last six months, I have interacted extensively with leaders of SAARC countries beginning with their auspicious presence at my swearing-in ceremony. Development of close relations with our neighbours is a key priority for my government,” Modi said in his departure statement. INP


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