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Bush, Musharraf meet at Camp David

T V Parasuram in Washington | June 24, 2003 21:42 IST

United States President George W Bush on Tuesday met his Pakistani counterpart Pervez Musharraf and is understood to have underlined the need for easing tensions between India and Pakistan.

This was the first meeting between the two leaders after India announced fresh peace initiatives with Pakistan and nearly a fortnight after Bush met Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani at the White House.

Advani during his meeting with Bush on June 9 conveyed India's concerns and problems resulting from Pakistan-sponsored cross border terrorism and Bush fully 'reflected' the Indian position.

Bush had also backed Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's peace initiative and particularly referred to his speech in Srinagar, which provided 'political space' to Pakistan.

As the meeting began, Pakistan government said that its troops have secured all the important passes leading into Afghanistan from Pakistan, indicating that this would help in the war against terrorism.

Reports said that Musharraf wants more than verbal praise. He would like the US to release 28 F-16s Pakistan had brought 13 years ago.

The US wrote off one billion dollars of Pakistani debt a few months ago and is expected to approve a package of loans and grants to reduce the burden of the remaining debt of $1.8 billion.

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