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June 20, 1999
G-8 appeals for talks to end Kargil crisis
The leaders of the Group of Eight industrialised countries today expressed strong concern at the fighting in Kargil and appealed to India and Pakistan to resume talks.
"We are strongly concerned by the continuing military confrontation in Kashmir," said the final statement from the G-8 summit in Cologne, Germany.
The leaders blamed the conflict on "the infiltration of armed intruders which violated the Line of Control".
"We regard any military action to change the status quo as irresponsible," the statement said.
"We therefore call for the immediate end of these actions, restoration of the Line of Control, and for the parties to work towards... the resumption of a dialogue between India and Pakistan."
In earlier statements, the United States and Russia had put the burden directly on Pakistan to withdraw the forces that had intruded into Kashmir, but the G-8 statement did not name Pakistan.
The group comprises the US, Russia, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada.
India promptly urged Pakistan to heed the G-8 appeal and undo its armed intrusion and restore the status quo ante on the LoC.
Welcoming the statement issued by the G-8 in Cologne, a spokesman for the external affairs ministry said the action of the Indian armed forces would continue till the status quo ante is restored.
He said Pakistan must abide by the Lahore Declaration, which includes a commitment to the Simla Agreement, and reaffirm its complete respect for the sanctity of the LoC, without reservations.
"On our part, we remain committed to the Lahore process and the resumption of the composite dialogue with Pakistan," he said.
AP & UNI
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