'Signals from Sharif positive, likely to improve ties'

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Friday said that both he and Pakistan's incoming Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif want to take bilateral relations between the two Asian neighbours forward and resolve all outstanding issues in a peaceful manner.

Dr. Singh, who was interacting with the media onboard his special aircraft Air India One while returning home after his two-nation visit to Japan and Thailand, said both leaders had invited each other to visit their respective nations, but added that the dates for this have not been fixed as yet.

"I rang up Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the very first day when the election results were coming out. I conveyed my congratulations to him and I reciprocated his sentiments that India-Pakistan relations should move forward. I also invited him to visit India," Dr. Singh said.

"He also invited me to visit Pakistan. There is an invitation from the Government of Pakistan for me to visit Pakistan. There is no firm decision on either side. No dates have been fixed, but we would certainly like to have good neighbourly relations with Pakistan," he added.

Dr Singh said signals coming from Nawaz Sharif were positive and therefore likely to improve relations between India and Pakistan.

The Indian premier said his government stood by its pledge of resolving all issues involving Pakistan in a peaceful manner, adding that the same had also been expressed by Sharif.

Dr. Singh further said 'it has been consistently our policy that India- Pakistan relations, we should deal with all outstanding issues'.

" We are committed to resolve them in a peaceful manner. That is also the sentiment which was reciprocated by Nawaz Sharif," he added. Agencies

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