Putin the peace-broker

President Vladimir Putin strives to ease the tension between India and Pakistan during the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Measures in Asia, taking place in Almaty, the capital of Kazakhstan.

President Vladimir Putin is favourable towards a direct dialogue between Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistan’s President, General Pervez Musharraf but if such is not possible, at least it is hoped that these peace talks will serve as a means of lessening the climate of hostility in the area, with one million armed men squaring up eye-to-eye over the frontier.

The central issue was referred to by Russian Foreign Minister Serguey Ivanov, who claimed that “the infiltration of armed terrorists from Pakistan” is to be condemned. This is the point which Prime Minister Vajpayee made when he refused to meet president Musharraf, declaring that while such insurgence continues, there will be no talks between the two sides, either directly or indirectly.

However, Prime Minister Vajpayee confirmed that he would discuss the matter with president Putin: “Naturally we will discuss the tension in Southern Asia, resulting from cross-border terrorism. We share the opinion that we should firmly confront terrorism”.

Omar Abdullah, Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said that “Our position is quite clear: we are ready to meet Pakistan half-way but the violence in Kashmir must reduce and the infiltration must stop”.

Pakistan’s president Musharraf declared that “I have no conditions to place” and that he was ready for talks with India at any level, at ant time, anywhere, considering that President Vladimir Putin “is very well placed to perform a decisive role in mediation” on the issue.

Under Vladimir Putin and his administration, Russia in more and more in the spotlight on the international stage as a path of common sense, pragmatism and justice is followed.


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