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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan, India term nuclear CBMs talks cordial

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Dec 28, IRNA -- Senior Pakistani and Indian officials have concluded two-day talks on conventional and nuclear Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) in Islamabad on positive note, a joint statement said.

This was 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.

“The talks were held in a cordial and constructive atmosphere,” the joint statement issued at the conclusion of the talks said.

“The two sides agreed to recommend to their foreign secretaries to extend the validity of the “Agreement on Reducing the Risk from Accidents Relating to Nuclear Weapons” for another five years,” the statement said.

Both sides will report the progress in talks to their respective foreign secretaries, the statement added.

A 10-member Indian delegation took part in the talks as part of the bilateral Composite Dialogue process.

Both sides will discuss conventional CBMs and nuclear issues in the two-day talks.

Pakistan delegation was led by Munwar Saeed Bhatti, Additional Secretary (UN&EC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs. while, D.B. Venkatesh Varma, Joint Secretary (DISA), Ministry of External Affairs, led the Indian side, the joint statement said.

The foreign secretaries of the two countries met in Islamabad in June 2011 where both sides agreed to reconvene the two expert groups. These expert groups last met in New Delhi 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.

Sources said that the expert-level discussions on conventional CBMs focused on, among other things, implementing the cross-Kashmir trade and travel CBMs that were unveiled during the talks between foreign ministers in July.

The talks were held days before Pakistan and India will exchange the lists of their nuclear installations and facilities on January 1 under 'Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack Against Nuclear Installations and Facilities'.

This accord was signed on December 31, 1988, and both countries exchange the list every year on January 1.

India and Pakistan resumed, in February this year, their dialogue process that was stalled after the November 26, 2008, Mumbai attacks.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30736610

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