‘Climate Change’ in India-Pak Ties?Modi-Sharif Shake Hands in Paris

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met and shook hands with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at the climate change summit, which started in Paris on Monday. There is no confirmation yet on whether the two leaders will meet again for a bilateral talk on the sidelines of the 21st session of the Conference of Parties or COP21.

 “PM @narendramodi meets PM Nawaz Sharif at COP 21 in Paris,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted along with a picture of the two leaders shaking hands.

Modi was also seen having a conversation with Sharif in a lobby of the Conference Centre. No further details of the meeting between the two were made available.

This is the first meeting between the two leaders after Ufa in Russia, where they held bilateral talks on the sidelines of multilateral conferences, and decided on number of steps to takle forward the relationship.

Modi will also meet US President Barack Obama later on Monday on the sidelines of the climate summit. Sources said the Obama administration is keen to see a resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan, which has remained halted after New Delhi accused Islamabad of exporting terror to India, as well as repeatedly violating ceasefire along the Line of Control.

On Sunday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had also asserted that dialogue is the only way for them to resolve the differences. “I am convinced that dialogue is the only way forward for improving relations between Pakistan and India. I have urged leaders of both countries to resolve all differences through talks and have offered my good offices to that end,” Ban said.

Earlier, in a blunt warning to rich nations, Modi told the developed countries which powered their way to prosperity on fossil fuels that it would be “morally wrong” if they shift the burden of reducing emissions on developing countries like India.

“The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities should be the bedrock of our collective enterprise. Anything else would be morally wrong,” he wrote in the opinion section of today’s ‘Financial Times’.

He asked the developed nations to fulfill their duty to shoulder the greater burden of the fight against climate change.

In the article in the UK’s leading financial daily, timed to coincide with the launch of COP21 conference on climate change here, Modi said, “Some say advanced countries powered their way to prosperity on fossil fuel when humanity was unaware of its impact.”

“Since science has moved on and alternative energy sources are available, they argue that those just beginning their development journey bear no less responsibility than those who have reached the zenith of their progress. New awareness, however, should lead advanced countries to assume more responsibility. Just because technology exists does not mean it is affordable and accessible,” Modi said. Agencies


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