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July 1, 1999
Overwhelming international support for India
India has received overwhelming support for its stand on the Kargil issue with the United States, China and Britain -- three permanent members of the UN Security Council -- asserting that the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir must be respected.
At the end of a meeting of G-8 foreign ministers in New York, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright yesterday said her country had been stressing that the Kargil issue must be resolved diplomatically.
She said the US desired that infiltrators, especially those being supported by Pakistani forces, be withdrawn from the LoC.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has written a letter to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in which he has commended the restraint exercised by India in not violating the LoC.
A Reuters report from Moscow said Russia signalled today that it would be willing to help mediate in the dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.
''(Moscow) would be ready in future to offer what help it can if the need arose and the appropriate appeals were made by both sides,'' Foreign Ministry spokesman, Vladimir Rakhmanin, was quoted as saying by Itar-Tass News Agency.
But Rakhmanin added that Islamabad must first respect existing agreements on the Line of Control dividing India and Pakistan in Kashmir.
''A resolution is possible only if there is a return to the status quo and a constructive Indian-Pakistani dialogue aimed at reducing tension in the region and normalising bilateral relations is resumed,'' Rakhmanin said.
China too came strongly in support of India's stand and said the Kashmir dispute could only be resolved by peaceful means between Indian and Pakistan.
Talking to a television network, a Chinese spokeswoman said: ''The priority at present is to avert the further deterioration of the situation and to prevent further escalation of the (Kargil ) conflict.''
She said: ''Proceeding from the aspiration for the maintenance of peace and stability in South Asia, we sincerely hope that both India and Pakistan can respect the LoC in Kashmir, resume negotiations as soon as possible and seek a fair and reasonable settlement of all their differences, including the Kashmir issue, in accordance with the spirit and principles enshrined in the Lahore Declaration.''
The spokeswoman said this was in the interest of the people of the two countries and would contribute to the peace and stability in the region and in the world at large.
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