Efforts Will be Made to Improve Relations: Sushma Swaraj

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Islamabad: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday said she will make strenuous efforts to improve relations between India and Pakistan.

Swaraj, who reached Islamabad this evening, said, “I will meet Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and my counterpart Sartaj Aziz. Efforts will be on to improve relations.”

Pakistan’s top diplomat Sartaz Aziz said that his country will support all endeavours aimed at strengthening peace and security in Afghanistan as a conference on regional security began here.

The External Affairs Minister, who is on a two-day visit to attend the fifth Ministerial Conference on Heart of Asia, asserted, “‘Heart of Asia’ Conference is important because it is associated with Afghanistan. That is why I came specially to attend this.”

Swaraj would also meet Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the conference. She is also scheduled to meet Sharif’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.

Swaraj’s visit comes two days after talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan in Bangkok, where they discussed terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and a range of key bilateral issues apart from agreeing to carry forward the constructive engagement.

Swaraj is being accompanied by Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, Joint Secretary in charge of the Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran (PAI) Desk Gopal Baglay and External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup.

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has confirmed his presence in the conference. The focus would be on participating nations’ commitment to Afghanistan over energy deals, infrastructure and investment.

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