Pakistan, India Agree New Peace Steps After 'Historic' Meeting

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/ Source: Reuters

NEW DELHI - Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Tuesday that top diplomats from Pakistan and India would meet soon to advance peace talks that have moved fitfully because of political tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals.

Sharif was in New Delhi for the inauguration of India's new prime minister, Narendra Modi, with whom he had a "warm and cordial" bilateral meeting, he said.

"We agreed that our meeting in New Delhi should be a historic opportunity for both our countries," he told reporters. "This provides us the opportunity of meeting the hopes and aspirations of our peoples that we will succeed in turning a new page in our relations."

"We also agreed that the two foreign secretaries would be meeting soon to review and carry forward our bilateral agenda in the spirit of our meeting today," he added.

Relations between the two nations have particularly frosty since 2008 commando-style attack on the city of Mumbai in which 166 people were killed.

India said earlier that Modi had conveyed during the meeting his concerns about militants using Pakistani soil to carry out acts of terrorism in India. Sharif told reporters that accusations and counter-accusations did not help matters.

The low-caste son of a tea stall-owner, Modi this month won India's first parliamentary majority after 25 years of coalition governments, giving him ample room to advance economic reforms that started over two decades ago but stalled in recent years.