Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov and Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee have signed a Joint Declaration on the principles of bilateral relations. The document stresses the two countries' resolution to streamline the effort to reach an international consensus as far as anti-terrorist activities are concerned. Other documents signed include an agreement on long-term trade cooperation and on mutual assistance in the drive to combat crime and drug trafficking, and a memorandum of mutual understanding in scientific and technical cooperation. Yesterday, Rakhmonov /who is on a three-day official visit to Delhi/ also met with Indian President Kocheril Raman Narayanan, Minister of State for External Affairs Krishnam Raju and other top officials. Talks dealt with a wide scope of bilateral, regional and international problems. After a detailed discussion that concerned all kinds of terrorist activities, the sides urged the international community to retaliate against them in every way possible. They also voiced an opinion that the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan is a serious threat to the country's unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Addressing the Indian side, Rakhmonov said Tajikistan backed India as a candidate for permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council, which, in his opinion, must be large enough to reflect realia of the modern world and be more effective.
On Wednesday, April 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his Address to the Federal Assembly. In the speech, Putin annually expresses his assessment of the state of affairs in the country and his vision of the main tasks for the future