Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003
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By Our Diplomatic Correspondent
In a separate development, the External Affairs Minister, Yashwant Sinha, telephoned his French and Iranian counterparts, Dominique de Villepin and Kamal Kharazzi, today. The central topic of conversation with both Foreign Ministers was Iraq.
These telephone calls are part of a larger process of consultations which Mr. Sinha has initiated on Iraq. It would appear that India wants to keep itself in the loop as far as developments relating to Iraq were concerned. The issues that were discussed in today's telephone conversations included the future set-up of Iraq and a possible role for the United Nations. The need to work closely was underlined keeping the best interests of the Iraqi people at heart, the Foreign Office spokesman said.
According to him, the French Foreign Minister appreciated the "constructive declaration'' coming from the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, in Srinagar last week. Mr. Sinha and Mr. de Villepin shared concerns on cross-border terrorism and underlined the need for Pakistan to fulfil its commitment to fight this menace.
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