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British envoy leaves for J&K

March 24, 2004 16:21 IST

British High Commissioner Sir Michael Arthur on Wednesday lauded the Centre's commitment to enter into a "genuine dialogue process" with all parties in Jammu and Kashmir and the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference led by Maulana Abbas Ansari for responding positively to the initiative.

Sir Michael, who left on his maiden three-day visit to the state, met a Hurriyat delegation comprising Ansari, Mirwaiz Omar Farooq, Abdul Gani Bhat and Bilal Lone in New Delhi.

The Hurriyat leaders apprised the high commissioner of their efforts to ensure that the talks were result-oriented.

"We told him about the moves made by us during our talks with Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani on January 22 and he appreciated our efforts," Ansari said.

Later, Sir Michael took off for J&K. Before his departure, he said, "This is my first visit to Jammu and Kashmir and I am looking forward to hearing first hand the range of views there. The UK government welcomes the efforts made by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed's government to bring peace in the state and their commitment to improve the economy, governance and human rights."

During his visit, he will meet the Governor S K Sinha, the Mufti and other leaders.

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