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Top Indian, Pakistani Envoys to Hold Peace Talks Next Month

A Pakistani fisherman freed by Indian authorities after nearly 16 months prays as he returns home to Karachi in late May. The top diplomats from Pakistan and India are set to hold peace talks next month in Islamabad. A Pakistani fisherman freed by Indian authorities after nearly 16 months prays as he returns home to Karachi in late May. The top diplomats from Pakistan and India are set to hold peace talks next month in Islamabad. (Rizwan Tabassum/AFP/Getty Images)

The top diplomats from India and Pakistan are slated to hold peace talks in Islamabad next month, Agence France-Presse reports.

The planned foreign secretary-level meeting follows a brief conversation that took place in May between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the former's inauguration celebration in New Delhi.

"Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh spoke to her Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry over the telephone this afternoon and ... it was agreed that the two foreign secretaries would meet in Islamabad on August 25 to carry forward the dialogue process," the Pakistani foreign office said in a Wednesday announcement. "In keeping with the vision of the two prime ministers to improve and establish good neighborly relations, the foreign secretaries agreed that the dialogue process between the two countries should be result-oriented."

Ties between the two rival nuclear-armed countries have had their ups and downs over the past decades, but observers have speculated that the political conditions for substantive headway on peace talks may finally be in place with the election of Modi, who is the leader of the conservative Bharatiya Janata Party. The last time the party was in power, in the late 1990s, Islamabad and New Delhi agreed to a landmark nuclear-confidence building agreement, the Lahore Declaration.

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