Thursday, May 29, 2003
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
By Amit Baruah
The Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, with the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, at a welcome ceremony in Berlin on Wednesday.
Addressing a joint press conference after talks with Gerhard Schroeder, German Chancellor, Mr. Vajpayee suggested that Mr. Schroeder tell the Pakistani President, Pervez Musharraf (who is expected here next month), to end cross-border terrorism. India, for its part, was prepared for a dialogue on all issues, including Jammu and Kashmir. Though there was no suggestion that Mr. Vajpayee was speaking in terms of a pre-condition for a dialogue his emphasis on the need to end cross-border terrorism was unmistakable.
Asked if India was ready to give the Kashmiris the right to vote under a U.N. resolution, Mr. Vajpayee told a German reporter that India was a democratic country where elections took place regularly. The people of Jammu and Kashmir were very much part of this process.
Pointing out that a large number of people came out to vote in the recent Kashmir elections, the Prime Minister indicated that this was "sufficient" to gauge the will of the people and no action under the U.N.'s aegis was possible.
Welcoming Mr. Vajpayee's "third initiative" to make peace with Pakistan, Mr. Schroeder, however, was reluctant to give a direct commitment on whether he would tell Gen. Musharraf to end terrorism when he visited Germany. "Never talk about a guest before you have spoken to him," the Chancellor said adding that he was ready to emphasise that he admired Mr. Vajpayee's efforts to find a constructive solution to the problems of cross-border terrorism and Kashmir.
Mr. Schroeder stated that any civilian Government was called upon to support anti-terrorist measures and he expected an appropriate response in the same constructive spirit. All concerned should support the peace-seeking bid launched by Mr. Vajpayee to resolve the Kashmir issue. Interestingly, the German leader, who has been among those keen on making up with the United States after his opposition to the unilateral war in Iraq, was clear that it would need a new United Nations resolution for his country to play an enhanced role in Afghanistan.
In his opening remarks at the press conference, Mr. Vajpayee said that India and Germany shared a common perspective on terrorism. "We appreciate Germany's understanding of the problems faced by us from cross-border terrorism. Our two countries also share a vision of a cooperative multi-polar world.
"An integrated and expanded Europe would have an important place in this world order, and Germany would naturally play a key role in this process. India attaches great importance to its relations with the European Union..."
On multilateral issues, Mr. Schroeder said there was wide agreement between the two countries, including on a constructive role for the U.N. While agreeing on the need to fight international terrorism, he pointed to the need to support the West Asian peace process. Both countries had welcomed the latest developments in the peace process.
In the bilateral arena, Mr. Schroeder said there were no problems at all and today's talks focussed on the need to improve ties in the scientific and economic fields. The two countries favoured close cooperation in the field of renewable energy, especially in solar and wind energy. The Prime Minister said that institutions of bilateral cooperation were functioning well.
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |
Copyright © 2003, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of