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G8 welcomes resumption of India, Pakistan talks

world Updated: Jun 27, 2010 17:58 IST
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Welcoming the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan, the G8 countries on Sunday appealed to all nations in the region to work together "actively" in the interests of regional peace and stability.

"We welcome and encourage the recent steps taken by the Governments of Pakistan and India to advance their bilateral relationship, and urge all countries of the region to work together actively in the interests of regional peace and stability," a joint declaration issued by G8 countries said.

India and Pakistan had in April decided to resume dialogue at the Foreign Secretaries and Foreign Ministers level to bridge the trust deficit between the two countries. India had put the Composite Dialogue process with Pakistan on hold after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan had met in Islamabad on Thursday and prepared ground for the Foreign Ministers' meeting there on July 15.

Home Ministers of India and Pakistan also met in the Pakistani capital yesterday, during which New Delhi pressed for prosecution of more people involved in the Mumbai terror attacks.

The US and UK have been encouraging the two South Asian countries to resume dialogue, but have publicly made it clear their stand not to interfere.

The US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia are members of the G8.

In the declaration after two-days of deliberations, the leaders of the Group of Eight developed countries, also welcomed and encouraged Pakistan's efforts to root out "violent extremists, especially in its border areas with Afghanistan."

"We welcome and encourage Pakistan's ongoing efforts to root out violent extremists, especially in its border areas with Afghanistan," the declaration said.

"We underscore the need for a broad regional approach to countering violent extremism. It is essential that Pakistan be supported by the international community as it addresses its political, economic and social reforms," it said.

The declaration also said progress is being made, in association with multilateral donors, on two key projects under the G8 Afghanistan Pakistan Border Region Prosperity Initiative: a Peshawar-Jalalabad expressway and a feasibility study for a Peshawar-Jalalabad rail link.

It said the G8 countries were confident that these projects and others – realised with the efforts of the Governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan -- will deliver tangible benefits to the Afghan and Pakistani people and help to foster regional stability.