High-level EU delegation to visit Pakistan
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High-level EU delegation to visit Pakistan

The delegation will visit Pak next week to discuss a host of issues, including investigations into illegal sale of n-tech by its scientists.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2004 15:30 IST

A high-level European Union delegation will visit Pakistan next week to discuss a host of issues --including the progress it has made investigating the illegal sale of nuclear technology by its scientists --and urge the country to put its nuclear programme under stricter global safeguards.

The EU delegation, including Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen, his Dutch colleague Bernard Bot and European External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten, would visit Pakistan on February 19 and urge it to put its nuclear programme under strict international safeguards, Pakistani daily Dawn quoted a Brussels officer as saying.

"Our position remains that we would like everybody to put their nuclear programmes under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards," the EU diplomat said adding this was seen as an essential and important first step which could be taken by countries without signing up for the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

While voicing worries over WMD proliferation, the EU delegation is expected to express support for the recent thaw in India-Pakistan relations and welcome the launch of a first round of reconciliation talks between the two countries.

"We applaud and congratulate India and Pakistan for sitting down together and welcome the courage and leadership being shown by both sides," the paper quoted a EU official as saying.

First Published: Feb 17, 2004 00:00 IST