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Despite the apparent failure of the Indo-Pak summit, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan Tuesday encouraged the leaders of India and Pakistan to look at the talks as the first step towards resolving differences in the interest of both nations as well as South Asia.
A spokesman for the Secretary-General said in a statement that Annan called on Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistani Gen. Pervez Musharraf to persevere with their efforts to establish a sustainable bilateral
"A sustained Indo-Pakistani dialogue, especially at the highest level, is sorely needed, and the summit should be seen as an important step towards this," spokesman Fred Eckhard said quoting the UN Secretary-general. .
"It would have been too much to expect major breakthrough on the difficult issues of substance from a first meeting," he said. "The fact that the two leaders are talking can contribute to an easing of tensions,
especially on the question of Kashmir."
Asked what role the secretary-general had played in contributing to the dialogue, the spokesman said that Annan had visited both India and Pakistan earlier this year, and had urged both leaders to talk to resolve their differences, including those over Kashmir. Both Governments had been receptive to that plea, he said.
UN officials had earlier declined to comment on the outcome of the Indo-Pakistan summit pending what they said the detailed report about the summit's outcome.
The Complete Coverage of the Indo-Pak Summit
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