07:38 GMT +319 September 2019
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    Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj

    First Interaction Between Indian, Pakistani FMs Since Escalation

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    Earlier, sources doubted that such talks would take place as no bilateral meeting had been scheduled.

    Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has interacted with her Pakistani counterpart S.M. Qureshi on the sidelines of the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers meet in Bishkek.

    This is the first informal encounter between the two countries since mid-February, when the nuclear-armed nations became embroiled in a high-tension military skirmish on 27 February following an air strike conducted by the Indian Air Force in Balakot, Pakistan on 26 February against terror infrastructure.

    State-funded Radio Pakistan claimed that "They discussed overall situation of the region in the meeting".

    Indian government sources, however, said that “There was no meeting between Sushma Swaraj and S.M. Qureshi, only exchange of pleasantries. The pictures are from the SCO Foreign Minister's lounge, where others [were] also present”.

    Earlier, a diplomatic source said the interaction would be limited to the forum in which issues like terrorism and the Afghanistan peace process may find prime importance.

    The bilateral dialogue between the two nations has been stalled since 2016, after a series of terrorist attacks on Indian military establishments.

    Last year, a formal meeting between the two foreign ministers in New York on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly was called off as India made a U-turn within 24 hours of accepting an offer of talks proposed by Pakistan.

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    Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), India, Pakistan
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