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Bush, Musharraf discuss terrorism

By Agencies
December 05, 2004 14:45 IST
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US President George W Bush met his Pakistani counterpart Pervez Musharraf in Oval Office on Saturday and discussed, among other things, terrorism, Al Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden.

"We discussed terrorism in its entire complexity," Musharraf said after the brief meeting. "And within that, hunting every terrorist was discussed, of course. The operations against terrorists in Pakistan on our borders was discussed."

Musharraf said it was an "extremely positive" meeting.

"All in all, our relationships are good, they're strong, and they will remain that way," said Bush, adding that he and Musharraf "are absolutely committed to fighting off the terrorists who would destroy life in Pakistan, or the United States, or anywhere else."

Musharraf said they also spoke about bilateral concerns, Indo-Pak ties and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He said the two spoke about the creation of a Palestinian state and the resolution of the longstanding conflict in West Asia.

"As far as Pakistan is concerned, we are very clear that we believe in the right of Palestinians and the Israelis to have their own state," Musharraf said. "Within that, whatever Pakistan or whatever I can do, I will contribute."

Asked about relations with India, Musharraf said, "I think we are moving well on the issue of confidence-building measures and also of the dialogue process toward the resolution of disputes. We hope we will move forward in all resolution of all disputes and the core dispute happens to be Kashmir."

Musharraf said the supply of F-16 jets by the US to Pakistan was also discussed, but didn't elaborate.

The Pakistani leader later met the outgoing Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and discussed Indo-Pak ties.

"(There are) strongly held views on both sides, and (we) believe both sides are trying to find a way to move forward," Powell said after the meeting.

"They're talking to one another, and that's good compared to where we were two years ago," he said.

Powell also made it clear that no decision was taken on the issue of giving F-16s to Pakistan.

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