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Armitage meets Sonia, Yashwant

Source: PTI
May 10, 2003 12:37 IST
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US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage on Saturday held talks with Indian leaders on the Indo-Pak peace initiatives even as President George W Bush expressed warm appreciation for Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's initiative to ease tensions with Pakistan.

After a meeting with External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha, Armitage, who arrived in Delhi on Friday night from Kabul along with Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca on a day's visit, had intensive consultations with Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal who later hosted a lunch for him.

The US official began his hectic engagements with a meeting with Leader of the Opposition Sonia Gandhi.

During the 40-minute meeting, they discussed wide-ranging bilateral, regional and international issues, including the Indo-Pak developments and the situation in Afghanistan.

Gandhi told Armitage that there was a broad consensus among various political parties on India's foreign policy and Indo-Pak ties.

Ahead of his talks, President George W Bush met National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra in the White House and appreciated Vajpayee's initiative to break the deadlock with Pakistan.

The meeting with Bush took place when Mishra went to the White House for a scheduled meeting with his US counterpart Condoleezza Rice.

Armitage is scheduled to meet Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani, Finance Minister Jaswant Singh and call on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee before leaving in the evening.
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