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Russia, Pak agree to combat terrorism, boost bilateral ties

Russia and Pakistan on Thursday agreed to jointly combat global terrorism and boost bilateral cooperation.



Moscow: Russia and Pakistan on Thursday agreed
to jointly combat global terrorism and boost bilateral
cooperation in economic, energy and civil aviation sectors at
a key summit between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his
Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari here.

Anti-terrorism combat and further development of
bilateral ties topped the agenda of Medvedev?s talks with
Pakistani President Zardari, who arrived here yesterday on a
four-day visit.

"Obviously, our two nations are facing absolutely
identical threats, I mean the threat of international
terrorism. We need to do everything to counter this main evil
of 21st century through joint efforts," Medvedev said in his
opening remarks at the Kremlin summit.

After the talks, the two president?s signed a joint
statement signalling their desire to boost bilateral
cooperation.

The two leaders emphasised the considerable potential
for further deepening ties, particularly in trade and economic
sectors.

The two countries also inked an inter-governmental
agreement on civil aviation and inter-departmental memorandum
of understanding between the energy and agricultural
ministries.

Although Medvedev has frequently met Zardari on the
sidelines of international meets and multi-lateral forums,
this is the first official visit of the Pakistani President to
Russia.
Analysts here note that Zardari`s tour acquires
special importance as it is his first foreign visit after the
killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on May 2 by US
special forces in Pakistan`s garission city of Abbottabad amid
a diplomatic row between the US and Pakistan.

Pakistanis have accused the US of violating the
country`s sovereignty by undertaking the unilateral military
operation without informing the government.

Amid tension in the US-Pakistan alliance, Zardari
might seek closer alliance with Russia, believes Sergei
Strokan, South Asia analyst of prestigious Kommersant daily.

Although the Pakistani leadership has expressed
indignation at the US covert operation on its territory,
Medvedev has supported Washington`s right to hunt down the
al-Qaeda leader, saying it was beneficial to Russian security.

Moscow has linked al-Qaeda to the rebels fighting
Russian troops in the mostly Muslim North Caucasus region and
Medvedev underlined those ties.

"The liquidation of terrorists, even on the level
of...bin Laden, has a direct relationship to the level of
security on the territory of our state," Medvedev told his
Security Council in televised remarks, ahead of his talks with
Zardari in Moscow today.

In an interview published today, Russian Foreign
Minister Sergei Lavrov also upheld the elimination of the
al-Qaeda leader as Washington’s legitimate right to
self-defence under the UN Charter.

PTI

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