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Sushma, Aziz shake hands in Kathmandu

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Sushma, Aziz shake hands in Kathmandu
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Kathmandu: Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Tuesday briefly met and shook hands with top Pakistani official Sartaj Aziz on the eve of the Saarc Summit beginning here Wednesday.

"It was out of courtesy," Sushma Swaraj said later, when journalists wanted to know if their meeting was a sign that the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers would meet on the sidelines of the summit.

"If you meet ministers of other countries at an international platform, you greet each other," she added.

Aziz is the national security adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He and Sushma Swaraj are taking part in the meeting of the Saarc council of ministers Tuesday. The Saarc summit is due Nov 26-27.

A senior Nepali diplomat told IANS that Sushma Swaraj and Aziz addressed each other by their first names.

Although India and Pakistan have not sought a meeting with one another, Nepalese officials say that Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif are likely to meet Wednesday.

Nepal has said it is going to facilitate talks between the two countries, at least during the retreat Thursday.

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