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Jamali to meet Vajpayee before yearend

July 25, 2003 18:41 IST

Pakistan Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali has said that he will meet his Indian counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee before the yearend.

In an interview with The Nation, Jamali said he had no apprehensions about visiting India or to meet Vajpayee anywhere in the world.

The paper said Jamali did not speak about the summit venue, but the meeting would most likely take place in New York on the sidelines of annual UN General Assembly meeting in September.

Both leaders are expected to meet at the SAARC Summit being held in Islamabad on January 4 next year, but an earlier summit is likely to accelerate the peace process initiated between the two countries in April this year.

During the interview, Jamali spoke on Indo-Pak ties, Pakistan's recognition of Israel, power sharing between the President (Pervez Musharraf) and the prime Minister, Legal Framework Order (LFO) and other issues.

About relations between India and Pakistan, Jamali said there was no ambiguity in his country's relations with India or on the strategy to pursue peace in the subcontinent.

Asked about the possibility of India insisting on holding talks with President Pervez Musharraf only, Jamali said in democracies dialogues were held between prime ministers "and I believe in democracy."

He said the summit between the two countries would help move the peace process forward.

On the issue of Pakistan's recognition of Israel, Jamali said the matter is linked to three factors, which include the Middle East peace process, the view of Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the opinion of the Pakistani people and Parliament.

He denied there was any US pressure on Pakistan to recognise Israel.

About the political situation in the country, Jamali said he hoped to strike an understanding with the Islamist alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal soon.

"There is flexibility on both sides," he said, referring to the stated positions of the government and the MMA on the issues of the LFO.

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