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Pak invites India for key Afghan conference

New Delhi:Pakistan has invited External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for a crucial regional conference here on Afghanistan, a move that could provide an opportunity for the two neighbours to mend their frosty ties.

The ‘Heart of Asia’ conference will be held on December 7 and 8, where representatives from Azerbaijan, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the UAE are expected to attend.

Pakistan has also sent an invitation to Swaraj, the Express Tribune reported.

“A formal invitation has been sent to India and 25 other countries for the Heart of Asia ministerial meeting on Afghanistan to be hosted by Pakistan,” a senior Foreign Office official was quoted as saying by the paper.

An Indian diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed New Delhi has received the invitation but said the decision on whether the External Affairs Minister will attend the conference has yet to be taken, the paper said.

He said India is likely to send a high-level delegation headed by the minister given the conference’s importance.

The meet provides a moment to unfold the process for a dialogue between the two countries after recent hiccups in their ties.