Pak keen to better India ties

BEIJING; Pakistan’s foreign minister said today that his country was serious about improving relations with India, ahead of the first official talks between the South Asian rivals in more than a year.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi was quoted by state media as saying in Beijing that Pakistan wanted “peaceful settlement of all outstanding disputes”.

The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan are set to sit down on Thursday, ending a freeze on dialogue imposed by India after the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, which New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

Qureshi, who is

on a five-day visit to China, made his comments in a speech at the China Institute of International Studies, state Xinhua news agency reported.

Chinese foreign

ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Tuesday that stable India-Pakistan relations were “conducive to regional peace, stability and development”.

He added that Beijing “supports their efforts to resolve their disputes through dialogue and negotiation”.

Qureshi met Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Tuesday and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Monday.