ISLAMABAD, Dec. 25 (UPI) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a surprise visit to meet with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Twitter Friday morning, just hours before his plane landed in Islamabad.
Modi was greeted at the airport by Sharif, marking the first visit by an Indian prime minister since 2004.
The visit comes on Sharif’s birthday as the two countries work to renew a dialogue in a relationship that is often rocky because of their more than 60-year battle over Kashmir, which has included two full-out wars.
“Am personally touched by Nawaz Sharif Sahab ‘s gesture of welcoming me at Lahore airport and coming to the airport when I left,” Modi tweeted after leaving Islamabad to head back to New Delhi, also thanking Sharif for welcoming him to his home on both the Pakistani prime minister’s birthday and wedding of his granddaughter.
The show of birthday love between the leaders follows a short meeting on the sidelines of the climate change talks earlier this month in Paris as they work to thaw and improve the relationship between their countries.
“The PM Modi-Pak PM Nawaz Sharif meeting was held in very cordial atmosphere… It has been decided there will be greater interaction, people to people contact, to create an environment of goodwill,” said Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry,reported NDTV.