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Pakistan PM thanks Vajpayee

From CNN producer Syed Mohsin Naqvi

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistan's prime minister has telephoned his Indian counterpart to thank him for accepting Islamabad's invitation to attend a regional summit early next year.

A Pakistani government official said Prime Minister Zafarullaha Khan Jamali told Indian leader Atal Behari Vajpayee on Monday he was looking forward to meeting him during the first week of January.

Jamali initiated the five-minute conversation during a state visit to France, the official said.

The invitation and Vajpayee's acceptance are the latest signal of improving relations between the nuclear neighbors, who have been at war three times since independence in 1948.

The Pakistani official also reported that both leaders said they were satisfied with the progress in efforts for peace between the nuclear neighbors.

India and Pakistan are both members of the seven-nation South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, which will meet in Islamabad January 4 to 6.

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