A day after the US administration urged India and Pakistan PMs to meet on the side lines of the UN General Assembly in the US, speculation seems to be rife if a bilateral meeting will take place as reports now suggest that the two leaders will be staying at the same hotel in New York.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif will both stay at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York during the 70th UN General Assembly session which begins later this week.
As of now no official announcement has been made by either of the two countries.
PM Modi is scheduled to address the Sustainable Development Summit hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on September 25. On the same day the new and ambitious post-2015 development agenda will be adopted at the UNGA. Meanwhile, Sharif will address a high-level meeting on September 27.
According to sources, Modi arrives in New York on 23rd evening and Sharif reaches there on 25th evening.
Post the UNGA meet, PM Modi will be in California on September 26 and 27 but will return to New York on September 28. After his return to New York, PM Modi will meet US President Barack Obama and attend the high- level Peacekeeping Summit at the United Nations headquarters.
Since Sharif will also be attending the summit, the multilateral gathering will provide a forum for the leaders of India and Pakistan to come face-to-face.
Of late, the ties between India and Pakistan have suffered a blow with the cancellation of the much-awaited NSA-level talks in New Delhi last month. The repeated ceasefire violations by the Pakistan forces along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir have strained the matter further.
Prime Minister Modi will depart for India late on September 28 or the early morning of September 29 but Sharif will remain in the city. PM Sharif will address the annual debate of the General Assembly on September 30, a day before External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj addresses the gathering of world leaders on October 1.
(With inputs from PTI)