"Obviously, if the meeting did take place, we welcome it," Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said yesterday when asked for the UN chief's response to the meeting between the two South Asian leaders on the margins of climate conference.

Modi and Sharif met briefly yesterday in Paris as the climate conference began in the French capital.

The two leaders warmly held hands before sitting down for a chat amidst frosty ties between the two neighbours.

The Indian side describing the encounter as a 'brief exchange of courtesies', but Pakistanis terming it as a 'good' meeting.

The two leaders had attended the UN General Assembly session in September but did not meet even though they had stayed in the same hotel.

Just ahead of the climate conference, Ban had told in an interview that improved relations between India and Pakistan could create a more conducive environment for the two nations to stem the threat posed by terrorism.

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