Zardari to address UN General Assembly

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Islamabad, Sep 19 (UNI) Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari will lead the country's delegation to the United Nations General Assembly session, which opened early this week.

''Mr Zardari would address the Assembly and speak on a number of important issues, including the ongoing war on terror, composite dialogue with India, the regional security situation and Pakistan's relations with the US and Afghanistan,'' official sources told UNI.

During his five-day tour beginning September 21, he would also hold important meetings on the sidelines of the session with world leaders, including US President George W Bush.

Mr Zardari is also expected to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

His itinerary for October also includes a visit to China.

Mr Zardari's visit would underscore importance that Pakistan attaches to its ''time-tested'' relations with China.

The visit would take place almost a month after Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik confessed to the presence of militants representing the Chinese Islamic movement in Pakistan's troubled tribal regions near the Afghan border.

Some of the militants were also arrested in the recent past and handed over to the Chinese government.

Officials said the planned visit of Mr Zardari would send a strong signal to Beijing and the world community of the high priority Pakistan accorded to its relations with China.

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