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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan, Russia set to boost defense ties

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Feb 25, IRNA -- Pakistan said on Wednesday it is set to 
reinvigorate relations with Russia and expand bilateral relations in 
all fields particularly defense and communications. 
Pakistan Foreign Secretary Riaz Khokhar in a meeting with Russian 
Deputy Foreign Minister Safonov emphasized that Pakistan was committed
to cooperating with Russia in the campaign against international 
terrorism, it was officially announced here. 
The two sides discussed bilateral ties, Pakistan-India relations, 
counter-terrorism measures taken by both, the menace of drug 
trafficking and other issues of regional and international importance 
were discussed during the meeting, a Foreign Office statement said. 
The Russian official reportedly said that the war against 
international terrorism could be won when the root causes of terrorism
like poverty, regional conflicts, systematic injustices and problems 
related to globalization were resolved. 
Safonov said that the visit of President Pervez Musharraf to 
Moscow last year was a historic milestone in bilateral relations which
are expanding since then, the statement added. 
The Pakistani foreign secretary expressed Pakistan`s desire for a 
early expansion in the Pakistan Steel Mill. 
He also renewed President General Pervez Musharraf`s invitation to
President Vladimir Putin to visit Pakistan at the earliest. 
During his stay in Islamabad, Safonov will reportedly meet 
interior secretary and rector of the Islamic University. He will also 
visit the National Defense College and National Police Academy. 
The Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism between Pakistan and 
Russia was established after a meeting held between presidents of 
Pakistan and Russia in June 2002. 
The first meeting of the group was held in Moscow in December 2002
when both sides had agreed to maintain contacts in political, 
economic, law enforcement, legal and judicial fields as that would lay
the foundation for an expanded cooperation between the two countries. 
Since the visit of President Pervez Musharraf to Moscow in 
February 2003, relations between the two countries are developing. 
Talks between the two countries have been institutionalized and 
during the first half of this year, the inaugural session of the 
Inter-governmental Joint Commission and meeting of the JWG on 
Strategic Stability will take place, according to reports. 
A group of experts will be visiting Moscow from March 1-3, 2004 to
prepare for the inaugural session of the Inter-governmental Joint 
Commission`s meeting. 

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