India, EU bat for democracy in SAsia, support Annapolis Conf

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New Delhi, Nov 30 (UNI) India and the European Union (EU) today hoped that democracy and stability would soon return to Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh and that the recent Annapolis Conference on West Asia would contribute towards a comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

At the Eight-India-EU Summit here today, the two sides also called for a negotiated settlement to the Sri Lankan ethnic problem saying there was no military solution to the conflict.

Leaders of the two sides met here today for day-long deliberations and discussed a wide range of issues including bilateral, regional and international. The Indian side was led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while the EU delegation was headed by its Portuguese counterpart Jose Socrates, who holds the current Presidency of the EU.

They also called for international and coherent commitment for restructuring of Afghanistan and stressed the importance of peace and security in Africa.

Strongly condemning terrorism, the two sides stressed the importance of cooperation within the UN framework.

In a joint statement issued after the talks, the two sides emphasised the need for the international community to promote a comprehensive peace plan for West Asia with the objective of reaching comprehensive, just and durable peace and stability in the region.

They reaffirmed their support for a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on existing agreements, including relevant UNSC Resolutions, the Roadmap, and the Arab League Resolution (Beirut 2002).

The leaders discussed the situation in Lebanon and supported the full implementation of UNSC Resolution 1701 and the reinforced UNIFIL.

The leaders recognised the important efforts of both sides to support the sustainable development of Africa and to promote the integration of Africa into the world economy on fair terms for the people involved.

''Together, India and the EU recognise the importance of their participation in peacekeeping operations in Africa, including those in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Eritrea,'' The leaders discussed the evolving situation in Myanmar and agreed that the process of national reconciliation and political reform should be inclusive, broad-based and taken forward expeditiously.

They expressed support for the ongoing good offices of the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy to Myanmar to resolve issues peacefully through dialogue and noted the efforts of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.

The leaders affirmed the need for an inclusive dialogue, including with Aung San Suu Kyi and the Myanmar ethnic groups, to bring about genuine reconciliation and progress towards democracy.

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