NEW DELHI, June 20 (UPI) -- India and Pakistan on Sunday agreed to set up a hotline between their foreign ministers in a bid to avoid a nuclear confrontation.
The two south Asian archrivals, who stunned the world in 1998 by conducting tit-for-tat nuclear tests, concluded two-days of nuclear confidence building measures talks in the Indian capital.
"A dedicated and secure hotline would be established between the two foreign secretaries, through their respective foreign offices, to prevent misunderstandings and reduce risks relevant to nuclear issues," a joint statement said after the bilateral talks between foreign ministry officials of the two neighbors.
The statement said that the existing hotline between senior military commanders, who have conversations scheduled once a week, would also be "upgraded, dedicated and secured".
The two sides also agreed to no further nuclear tests "unless, in exercise of national sovereignty, it decides that extraordinary events have jeopardized its supreme interests."
The statement said the two nations' nuclear programs were "based on their national security imperatives" and "constitute a factor for stability."
India's Foreign Minister Natwar Singh is due to meet his Pakistani counterpart Monday on the sidelines of a regional summit in China. Singh would also travel to Pakistan later this month to further the peace process launched by India's previous government to end five decades of mistrust, war and hostility with Islamabad.