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Pakistan, India to hold talks on nuclear CBMs next week

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Dec 23, IRNA -- Pakistan and India will hold talks on nuclear and conventional confidence-building measures (CBMs) next week as part of the bilateral dialogue process, the Foreign Ministry has said.

“As part of the resumed dialogue process between Pakistan and India, the fifth round of expert level talks on Conventional Confidence Building Measures, and the sixth round of expert level talks on Nuclear Confidence Building Measures, will be held in Islamabad on 26 and 27 December 2011, respectively,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said.

Mr. Munawar Saeed Bhatti, Additional Secretary (UN & EC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, would head the Pakistan delegation for both Expert Groups. On the Indian side, Mr. D. Bala Verma, Director General (Disarmament & International Security Affairs) Ministry of External Affairs, would lead the Nuclear CBMs Group, while Mr. Yashwant K. Sinha, Joint Secretary (PAI), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), would head the Conventional CBMs Group.

The Foreign Secretaries of the two countries met in Islamabad in June 2011 where, both sides, inter alia, agreed to re-convene the two Expert Groups. These Expert Groups last met in New Delhi in October 2007.

This will be the first meeting of the Joint Working Group on nuclear and conventional CBMs in over four years though other officials, including the two Foreign Secretaries, have discussed these issues in recent meetings in Islamabad and New Delhi.

Among the issues that are expected to be discussed at the upcoming meeting are CBMs related to Jammu and Kashmir and missile tests and steps to boost cross-Line of Control trade and travel, the sources said.

The Joint Working Group on nuclear and conventional CBMs had last met in October 2007.

India and Pakistan resumed their dialogue process early this year after a gap of over two years in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks that was blamed on Pakistan-based militant groups.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30727748

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