Thursday, Jun 06, 2002
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By Vladimir Radyuhin
``It is extremely important that India and Pakistan begin political dialogue and Russia together with other countries will do its best to create favourable conditions for such a dialogue,'' the spokesman, Alexander Yakovenko, told a press briefing here today.
The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, sent a ``strong signal'' to the leaders of India and Pakistan when he met them in Almaty on Tuesday that ``Russia and the international community are seriously concerned over the conflict between the two countries,'' the spokesman said. ``Our impression is that both India and Pakistan have heeded the signal.''
``The leaders of both countries clearly stated their reluctance to resort to a military solution,'' the Russian spokesman said. However, he made it clear that Mr. Putin did not invite the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, and the Pakistani President, General Pervez Musharraf, to meet in Moscow.
``Putin has invited Musharraf to Moscow to continue discussions of the India-Pakistan standoff, and we will use all our numerous channels of communication with India to pursue this subject with Delhi as well.''
The spokesman said the situation in South Asia would be discussed during the Russian President's meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Jiang Zemin, in St. Petersburg this week on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit. Moscow and Beijing ``shared common interests on the principal issues of security in South Asia.''
``Russia and China both have a stake in promoting stability in the region and have both declared the need for defusing tension between India and Pakistan,'' the spokesman said.
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