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UN must play important role in Iraq: India

"India feels it is important for the UN to play a role at the earliest," foreign ministry spokesman said.

india Updated: Apr 25, 2003 20:07 IST

India on Friday reiterated that the United Nations must play an important role in Iraq to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the war-ravaged country.

"India feels it is important for the United Nations to play a role at the earliest," foreign ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna told a news conference.

Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha expressed the view in a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov on Thursday, the spokesman said.

Sinha also talked with Ivanov about his upcoming visit to the Russian capital on May 14-16.

The visit is likely to prepare the ground for a summit level meeting to be held later between Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Russian President Vladmir Putin in the same month.

"Russia shared its assessment of various issues on the developing situation in Iraq, in particular its discussions with other members of the Security Council," Sarna said.

Both recognised that humanitarian aid to the people of Iraq was of primary importance.

"The two also discussed South Asia in the context of the Prime Minister's statements in Kashmir and later in Parliament. Russia favours a political solution (to Kashmir)," he added.

First Published: Apr 25, 2003 20:07 IST