US president Barack Obama will meet Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Monday (28), the White House said.
Senior Obama national security aide Ben Rhodes said on Thursday (24) the discussions would include issues related to a major climate conference, where countries are being asked to set emissions targets.
The two leaders held cordial talks in New Delhi earlier this year, marking a warming of relations that had been strained by a series of diplomatic upsets in late 2013.
Heading to New York for the UN General Assembly, Modi will address a sustainable development forum before traveling to Silicon Valley seeking to promote his country as open for business.
The Indian premier will meet Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and other internet leaders as he pushes for investment in India’s IT sector, after coming to power in May 2014 pledging to revive India’s flagging economy.
Obama will be arriving in New York on Sunday afternoon, addressing the General Assembly on Monday and leaving the city on Tuesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani foreign office has said that India and Pakistan have no plan to meet at the UN General Assembly, scotching speculation that the leaders of the two nations might seek the opportunity to improve rocky ties.
Both Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Modi are due to stay at the same hotel in New York during the meeting of world leaders this month, leading some media to speculate the two would meet.
But Qazi Khalilullah, a spokesman for Pakistan’s foreign ministry, denied those reports.
“No proposal is on the table for the meeting of the two PMs,” he told reporters.
Planned talks between national security advisors from the two neighbours were cancelled last month hours before they were due to start, dashing hopes the two might tackle the violence that many fear could one day spark a nuclear showdown.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since becoming independent nations in 1947, two of them over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, which both claim in full but rule in part.
Civilians on both sides are frequently killed as the two armies trade pot-shots at each other across the disputed Line of Control.
Sharif was elected in 2013 promising to improve relations with India, but since then domestic troubles have forced him to cede more control over foreign and security policy to Pakistan’s more hawkish military.
Modi, who took office in May last year, has taken a hard line with Pakistan, insisting he is unwilling to discuss other issues unless Pakistan admits its role in terror attacks in India.
In last month’s cancelled talks, India wanted to only discuss terrorism-related issues. Pakistan wanted a wider agenda, including the status of Kashmir, a topic that Khalilullah said Sharif would raise at the United Nations.