M A I N   N E W S

PM, Putin vow to fight terror
M.K. Razdan

Moscow, November 12
Consolidating their strategic partnership, India and Russia today issued a declaration that they will resist terrorism “with their full might” after talks between Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who discussed “developments of concern in their common neighbourhood.”

The seven-page declaration on “Global Challenges and Threats to World Security and Stability” was signed by the two leaders at Kremlin after wide-ranging discussions in which the threat posed by terrorism was a major subject.

The Prime Minister announced in the presence of Putin that the two countries had decided to strengthen and widen cooperation against terrorism both in bilateral and multilateral fora while the Russian leader voiced his support to Vajpayee’s new initiative to improve relations with Pakistan.

“We have a Joint Working Group, which meets regularly to exchange information and analysis of terrorist threats in our region. In this context, we discussed the developments of concern of our common neighbourhood,” he said.

The two countries also signed nine agreements, five of them relating to cooperation in the field of science and technology and the remaining on trade and investment.

In his statement Mr Putin said among the most dangerous threats in modern times was terrorism. Russia and India would work together to strengthen the legal basis of the struggle against terrorism and coordinate efforts to resist the drugs threat, organised crime and other modern challenges.

The declaration said dialogue, consultation and cooperation should be the means to promote global peace, security and stability for which the two countries were committed to cooperating as strategic partners both bilaterally and at the multilateral level.

On Iraq, the two countries said they were convinced that a concerted and time-bound plan of action under the UN aegis was needed for the earliest restoration of its sovereignty, stabilisation of political and humanitarian situation and ensuring the country’s economic growth through international efforts.

On Afghanistan, the declaration said the two countries supported efforts by the transitional government there to rebuild the nation and expressed full support to all international measures aimed at promoting peace, stability, national reconciliation and economic reconstruction.

“India and Russia strongly believe that Afghanistan should emerge as a peaceful, strong, prosperous, united and independent nation that should be free from external interference and living in peace and harmony with its neighbours.

The two countries agreed on a nine-point plan to combat terrorism and also pledged to resist with their full might all forms of extremism, including religious extremism, which had proved to be a hotbed of terrorism in their common neighbourhood.

The plan included consistent and uncompromising approach to terrorism and giving up “double standards”, reinforcing national and international legal instruments for countering terrorism, steadfast cooperation to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and materials and technology related to their manufacture. — PTI


Vajpayee invites Putin

Moscow, November 12
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today extended a formal invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit India.

The Russian President accepted the invitation and said the respective Foreign Ministries would coordinate the dates of the visit.

The invitation was extended during their 40-minute one-on-one talks on various issues relating to terrorism and bilateral strategic and trade ties. — UNI

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