Nawaz Sharif, Narendra Modi to stay in same hotel in New York; Chance meeting possible

NEW YORK: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi will stay at the same hotel here, as speculation grows on whether the two leaders will meet when they arrive in the city for the landmark 70th UN General Assembly session this week.

Modi, who arrives on Wednesday evening, will stay at the iconic Waldorf Astoria Hotel, as will Nawaz Sharif when he reaches New York on the evening of September 25, sources said.

While there has been no official announcement about any possible bilateral meeting, it is interesting to note that Nawaz and Modi will be staying at the same hotel. It remains to be seen whether the two leaders will come face-to-face by chance during their stay in the hotel.

Sources said that though no official announcement has been made whether they would meet or not, but a chance meeting could be arranged by the diplomats of the two countries. They point out that since Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi will also be attending the peace keeping summit on 28th, the multilateral gathering will provide a forum for the two leaders to come face-to-face.

The peacekeeping summit will be addressed by the UN secretary-general and Obama.

Pakistan is among the top troop contributing countries to UN peacekeeping missions.

Modi will depart for India late September 28 or the early morning of September 29 but Sharif will remain in the city.

The Waldorf Astoria has traditionally been the hotel of choice for US Presidents when they visit the city for the annual UN General Assembly sessions. However, last year a Chinese company purchased the hotel, triggering concerns of potential cyber intrusions by Chinese hackers if Obama stayed there.

The President and his staff will be staying instead at the New York Palace Hotel this time.

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