UN Sec Gen hails opening of Indo-Pak trade

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New Delhi, Oct 30 (UNI) United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-moon today welcomed the starting of the cross-LOC trade between India and Pakistan and asked both countries to build on it further.

Speaking at the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, the UN Secretary General, who arrived here this afternoon on his first visit to India, said such small steps could give way to bigger initiatives.

''Trucks from each country have delivered goods to the other...

I urge both sides to build on it...Commerce can build confidence.

Small-scale steps are often the harbinger of bigger changes to come," he said .

Pointing out that India is located in a region ridden by terrorism and ethnic strife, he said it had been dealing with its neighbours on complex questions.

Calling for resolving all disputes through dialogue, he said the UN believed in dialogue as a means to settle disputes.

''Broad, inclusive dialogue between those who might have the most fundamental disagreements...Such a dialogue should be possible on the subcontinent too," he said.

Mr Ban Ki Moon said as an emerging power, India had a responsibility to provide leadership in addressing global challenges like protecting environmenmt, fight against terrorism and containing deadly diseases.

UNI RB AE AS2313

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