Modi, Sharif to Stay at Same Hotel in NY: Makes Handshake Easier?

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NEW YORK – Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif will be staying at the same hotel – New York’s iconic Waldorf Astoria – during 70th UN General Assembly session this week, the NDTV reported on Tuesday.

Modi – who arrives on Wednesday evening – will stay at the iconic Waldorf Astoria Hotel – as will Nawaz Sharif when he reaches New York on the evening of September 25. While there has been no official announcement about any possible bilateral meeting, it is interesting to note that Modi and Sharif will be staying at the same hotel.

It remains to be seen whether the two leaders will come face-to-face by chance during their stay in the hotel. Both men could be in the same room at least on two different occasions – once at the UN Peacekeeping meet chaired by US President Barack Obama on Monday and possibly at the UN Sustainable Development Summit before that on Friday afternoon.

– National security adviser talks called off –

After the Delhi breakdown – when scheduled talks between the National Security Advisers (NSAs) were scrapped in August. The talks were canceled after a red line was drawn by the Modi government on the issue of Pakistanis meeting with the Hurriyat Conference leaders on the same trip.

Interestingly, while the Pakistanis and the Indians have opted to stay at the Waldorf Astoria, President Obama broke from the decades old tradition of staying there amid fears of surveillance and ‘bugging’ at a hotel now owned by the Chinese. While the Indians at first contemplated a different hotel, the government finally settled on the Waldorf. Nawaz and Modi will be there along with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

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