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Pakistan, India to strengthen anti-terror cooperation

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, June 24 , IRNA -- Top Pakistani and Indian diplomats Friday concluded their two-day dialogue with a positive note and agreed on the need to strengthen cooperation on counter-terrorism, a joint statement said.

'The Foreign Secretaries noted that both countries recognize that terrorism poses a continuing threat to peace and security and they reiterated the firm and undiluted commitment of the two countries to fight and eliminate this scourge in all its forms and manifestations,' the statement, issued at the end of the talks, said.

Under the resumed dialogue process, the Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India met in Islamabad, on June 23-24 for bilateral talks on Peace and Security including Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), Kashmir dispute and promotion of friendly exchanges.

'The talks were held in a frank and cordial atmosphere. Both sides reiterated their intention to carry forward the dialogue process in a constructive and purposeful manner,' the statement said.

The issues of Peace and Security, including CBMs, were discussed in a comprehensive manner and both sides emphasized the importance of constructive dialogue to promote mutual understanding.

They noted the ongoing implementation of various Nuclear and Conventional CBMs.

They also decided to convene separate Expert level meetings on Nuclear and Conventional CBMs to discuss implementation and strengthening of existing arrangements and to consider additional measures, which are mutually acceptable, to build trust and confidence and promote peace and security. The dates for the Expert level meetings will be determined via diplomatic channels.

The Foreign Secretaries exchanged views on the issue of Jammu & Kashmir and agreed to continue discussions in a purposeful and prospective manner with the view to find a peaceful solution through narrowing divergences and building convergences.

Both sides agreed to convene a meeting of the Working Group on Cross-Line of Control (LoC), which divides both countries in the disputed Kashmir region, CBMs to recommend measures for strengthening and streamlining the existing trade and travel arrangements across the LoC and propose modalities for introducing additional Cross-LoC CBMs. The Working Group will meet in July 2011.

Both sides agreed to the need for promoting friendly exchanges between the two countries. They noted with satisfaction the progress made towards finalization of the Visa Agreement which will help liberalize the visa regime and facilitate people-to-people, business-to-business and sports contacts, the statement said.

The two sides also discussed measures for promoting cooperation in various fields including, facilitating visits to religious shrines, media exchanges, holding of sports tournaments and cessation of hostile propaganda against each other, it added.

The Foreign Secretaries agreed that people of the two countries are at the heart of the relationship and that humanitarian issues should be prioritized and treated with sensitivity.

The Foreign Secretaries will meet again in New Delhi, on a date to be decided through diplomatic channels, to prepare for the meeting of the Foreign/External Affairs Ministers in New Delhi in July 2011.

The Foreign Secretary of India called on the Pakistani Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar.



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