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Rediff.com  » News » Foreign secy talks will depend on outcome of PM-Musharraf meeting in Havana

Foreign secy talks will depend on outcome of PM-Musharraf meeting in Havana

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September 08, 2006 23:22 IST

Against the background of a fresh terror strike, India on Friday made it clear that resumption of foreign secretary-level talks will depend on "satisfactory" outcome of next week's meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Islamabad's willingness to eliminate cross-border terrorism.

As terrorists struck once again in Malegaon in Maharashtra, that took a heavy human toll, New Delhi said it would be difficult to ensure success of the dialogue process unless Islamabad addressed the issue of cross-border terrorism in a "substantive way".

"Both leaders (Dr Singh and Musharraf) are very conscious of the importance of the Indo-Pak relations and both leaders are committed to taking forward the dialogue and peace process. But at the same time, there is recognition that unless the issue of terrorism is addressed (by Pakistan) in a substantive way, it will be difficult to ensure the success of the dialogue process," Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said while briefing reporters on the upcoming visit of the prime minister to Brazil and Cuba.

Dr Singh and Musharraf will meet in Havana on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement Summit from September 15 -16.

To a question about the resumption of stalled foreign secretary-level talks between the two countries, he said, "Yes, if the results of the summit meeting are satisfactory and we see there is willingness on part of Pakistan to work together with India to deal with what Pakistan itself says is a shared threat of terrorism."

He said if terrorism was a shared threat to both India and Pakistan, then the two countries "should be seen to be working together to eliminate this shared threat."

Asked whether Friday's blasts in Malegaon would vitiate the atmosphere for the talks, he said, "I don't know. It will depend on investigations."

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