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Kashmir not on UN agenda: Russia
May 06, 2003 22:24 IST
Russia on Tuesday opposed Pakistan's reported move to rake up the Kashmir issue in the United Nations Security Council.
"This issue is not on the agenda of the world body," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri V Fedotov said in New Delhi.
Pakistan had recently taken over as president of the UNSC.
Fedotov, who met External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha and Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal, said the Security Council president 'cannot impose' any issue.
The central problem is not Kashmir, but that of terrorism and training camps for terrorists operating in Pakistan, he added.
He said his country is looking forward to the visit of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee later this month.
"The visit will be another step towards strengthening and consolidating relations between India and Russia," Fedotov said.
Vajpayee will travel to St Petersburg for the 300th anniversary celebrations of the historic city and also meet President Vladimir Putin.
Fedotov said during his visit to India he had conveyed Russia's condemnation of cross-border terrorism.
"However, recent statements by New Delhi and Islamabad have demonstrated that there is a certain hope...
"Russia welcomes such developments and would like to see that every chance is given to the resumption of dialogue," he said.
Expressing satisfaction over the concerted actions of India and Russia against international terrorism, he said, "We reject double standards in this campaign and the attempts to justify terrorism."
He said there were some countries that looked at the issue of terrorism in the political context. "That is a mistake."
Describing his discussions in New Delhi as 'very useful and substantive', he said, "Given the fact that the next general assembly of the UN will have a challenging agenda, we have agreed to continue the exchange of views on a broad range of international issues."
Fedotov said both sides have agreed that the UN must have the central role in addressing issues like international terrorism, drug trafficking, post-war reconstruction of Iraq, situation in Afghanistan and the West Asia peace process.
"It is also evident, that it is the people of Iraq who should decide the future of their country."
Russia favoured consultations on these issues to start in the UN at the earliest. 'It is a matter of concern' that these discussions have not begun yet, he added.
On America's plans to divide Iraq into three zones, he said the post-war exercise has to be in accordance with the principles of international law. As per the Geneva Convention and other laws, the occupying forces have the responsibility of ensuring law and order in that country, he said.
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