SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES PAKISTAN, INDIA TO PERSEVERE IN EFFORTS TO ESTABLISH DIALOGUE
NEW YORK, 17 July (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Office of the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
Following the summit meeting in Agra between Prime Minister Vajpayee and General Musharraf, the Secretary-General would like to encourage both leaders to regard this meeting as the first step in a process, and to persevere with their efforts to establish a sustainable bilateral dialogue so as to resolve their differences.
A sustained Indo-Pakistani dialogue, especially at the highest level, is sorely needed, and the summit should be seen as an important step towards this. It would have been too much to expect major breakthroughs on the difficult issues of substance from a first meeting. The fact that the two leaders are talking can contribute to an easing of tensions, especially on the question of Kashmir. This is in the interest of both India and Pakistan, as well as of the entire South Asian region.
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