Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers yesterday ended their first round of talks over Kashmir on a positive note, resolving to take forward the peace process, an official said. \n"There is a commitment ... there is determination to take this process forward and make progress in whichever field we can," Indian foreign ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna told reporters. \nSarna said Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh and Pakistani counterpart Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri had during their discussions in New Delhi tackled the explosive issue of Islamic militancy in the Indian zone of divided Kashmir. \nIndia's concerns on the cross-border infiltration of Islamic rebels and what New Delhi calls the "infrastructure of terrorism" -- or militant training camps -- in the Pakistan-administered zone of Kashmir were discussed, he said. \n"This is a matter of concern and it has been raised in all the meetings," Sarna said. \nIndia accuses Pakistan of arming and training guerrillas in Kashmir, an allegation Islamabad denies although it openly offers diplomatic support to what it calls the Kashmiris' rightful struggle for self-expression. \nMore than 40,000 people have died in Indian Kashmir since the launch of the rebellion in 1989. \nThe foreign ministers also discussed a number of issues including a bus link connecting the two zones of Kashmir, Sarna said. \n"Both ministers had a very long one-on-one meeting," he said, describing the talks between Kasuri and Singh as having taken place in a "friendly, cordial, affable and constructive atmosphere." \nThe meeting was a review of a series of meetings between bureaucrats of the two countries on a number of issues including trade, terrorism, drug trafficking and Kashmir between June and last month, Sarna said. \n"This is an occasion to look forward to the engagement in terms of dialogue between the two countries in whatever form is coming up ahead," Sarna added. \nThe foreign ministers wind up their talks today. \nKasuri was ready later yesterday to call on former Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who set the peace process in motion last April by extending a "hand of friendship" to Pakistan. \nKasuri was also to meet India's opposition leader Lal Krishna Advani and Kashmiri separatist leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq before attending a dinner later yesterday hosted by Natwar Singh. \nToday, he was to call on Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and National Security Advisor J.N. Dixit besides attending the second round of the formal talks. \nHe is also due today to meet India's oil minister Mani Shankar Aiyar over lunch to discuss the future of a proposed US$3.5 billion pipeline designed to transfer gas from Iran to India through Pakistan.
TAKES THE CAKE: Chinese diplomats tried to take photographs of people attending a National Day event in Suva, before reportedly assaulting a Taiwanese diplomat The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday condemned the Chinese embassy in Fiji over a fracas at its Double Ten National Day event at a Suva hotel, while a lawmaker demanded that the ministry file a lawsuit against Chinese embassy personnel for injuring a Taiwanese diplomat at the event. The Grubsheet news blog on Sunday and New Zealand-based Asia-Pacific Report Web site yesterday reported that two members of the Chinese embassy in Suva tried to force their way into a celebration held by the Taipei Trade Office in Fiji at the Grand Pacific Hotel on Oct. 8 to take photographs of
TAIPEI REACTIONS: Joanne Ou decried China’s ‘gangster diplomacy,’ while MOFA said its Fiji counterpart dealt fairly with the incident and protected the trade office’s rights The world should denounce the actions of Chinese embassy staffers in Fiji against a Taiwanese diplomat during a National Day celebration in Suva, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday as it thanked the Fijian government for its help after the Oct. 8 incident. Two Chinese diplomats tried to force their way into a celebration held by the Taipei Trade Office in Fiji at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on Oct. 8, and a Taiwanese diplomat who tried to stop them taking photographs suffered a head injury. MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news briefing that the ministry
TIT FOR TAT? Messages sent through channels have urged Washington to drop its prosecutions of Chinese researchers or see Americans put at risk Chinese officials warned their US counterparts as early as the summer that they might detain Americans in China if the US does not stop prosecuting Chinese academics linked to the Chinese military, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter. China sent repeated warnings through multiple channels, including the US embassy in Beijing, the report said. The message has been blunt: The US should drop prosecutions of the Chinese academics in US courts, or Americans in China might find themselves in violation of Chinese law, the newspaper cited sources as saying. The US has charged several
Twenty EMU900 train cars manufactured by Hyundai Rotem Co are to be delivered to the Port of Hualien on Saturday, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said on Saturday as it unveiled the interior design of the new cars. The carriages are part of a large procurement project that the TRA began in 2018 to upgrade its train service quality, with the agency allocating NT$25.3 billion (US$873.05 million at the current exchange rate) to purchase 520 of the commuter cars from the South Korean company. Each EMU900 train consists of 10 cars, and they would help increase transport capacity by about 40