ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistan is hoping for a breakthrough at talks in New Delhi later this month in normalising trade relations with India, after signalling it will grant most-favoured nation status to its arch rival. We are extremely hopeful that there will be a major breakthrough in the next round of commerce secretaries meetings on November 14, 15 in Delhi, Zafar Mahmood, the top civil servant at the commerce ministry, told reporters. We will finalise all the details in that meeting, Mahmood added. On Wednesday, Pakistani Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said the cabinet had unanimously approved India as a most-favoured nation, which would add it to a list of more than 100 other countries. The status will remove discriminatory higher pricing and duty tariffs that stand as barriers to export between the neighbours, but non-tariff barriers continue to stand in the way of increased trade, say analysts. The United States welcomed the decision as a very, very big deal that could open up great economic opportunities. India and Pakistan this year resumed formal peace talks, broken off after the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed by Pakistani gunmen. We really applaud Pakistan and India for taking this concrete step to improve their relations. Its the most tangible thing that theyve done yet, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters. And our hope is that the process of normalisation in both directions, including getting eventually to full MFN, continues and that there is a reduction in non-tariff barriers by India, she added. The United States has long sought to defuse tensions between India and Pakistan, both nuclear armed nations that have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947. The policy is designed to help end the 10-year war in Afghanistan, where many analysts say Pakistan maintains links to Islamist militants in order to offset the perceived threat from India. Mehmood said the cabinet had been briefed on steps being taken to normalise trade with India and about the further steps required. The cabinet has given the mandate to the ministry of commerce to take this process forward and go ahead with creating trading arrangements based on the MFN principle, he said. In September, the Indian and Pakistani commerce ministers agreed to more than double trade within three years to $6 billion, set up a second trade border post, and facilitate business visas for their citizens. India granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996.