New York: The leaders of rivals India and Pakistan agreed to hold talks by the year’s end, in an accord to resume the peace process.

Following talks on Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nation General Assembly, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari issued a joint statement announcing the talks.

Both leaders’ foreign secretaries will "schedule meetings of the fifth round of the composite dialogue in the next three months," the statement said.

The talks were Zardari's first since he assumed the presidency earlier this month.

"Both leaders acknowledged that the peace process has been under strain in recent months," the statement said.
The leaders agreed to convene a special meeting of a joint anti-terror mechanism next month.