UN chief welcomes Modi-Sharif meeting in Paris
United Nations: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the Paris climate summit.
“Obviously, if the meeting did take place, we welcome it,” Ban’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters here on Monday when asked for the UN chief’s response to the meeting between the two South Asian leaders on the margins of climate conference.
Modi and Sharif met briefly on Monday in Paris as the climate conference began in the French capital.
The two leaders warmly held hands before sitting down for a chat amid frosty ties between the two neighbours.
The Indian side describing the encounter as a “brief exchange of courtesies”, but Pakistanis terming it as a “good” meeting.
The meeting was the first between the two leaders after July when they had met in the Russian city of Ufa and had agreed that their National Security Advisers would meet.
The two leaders had attended the UN General Assembly session in September but did not meet even though they had stayed in the same hotel.
Modi and Sharif came under one roof during a peacekeeping summit held on the sidelines of the General Assembly, but only waved at each other and did not speak or shake hands.
Just ahead of the climate conference, Ban had told journalists in an interview that improved relations between India and Pakistan could create a more conducive environment for the two nations to stem the threat posed by terrorism.
The UN Chief had reiterated that dialogue is the only way for resolving differences between the nuclear-armed neighbours.