U.N. Secretary-General appreciates India, Pakistan cross-border trade

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New Delhi, Oct 31 : U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed his appreciation for the commitment of India and Pakistan regarding the recently initiated cross-border trade.

Addressing a news conference here, Ban Ki-moon said, "I am encouraged by the commitment of the leaders of both the countries towards this direction. The recent opening of trade between India and Pakistan was encouraging as a result of summit meeting between the two countries. I hope these exchanges and dialogues as a part of composite dialogues initiated by India will continue to appear good results."

He also expressed his concern over the deteriorating security situation in Pakistan.

"I am concerned by this deteriorating security situation in Pakistan, because of all the extremism, bombings and terrorist activities is there. The neighbouring countries and international communities should help so that Pakistan could be able to enjoy genuine security and social economic development," he said.

He also informed the media about his recent talks with the Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and extended United Nations support to Pakistan to overcome the financial crisis.

Earlier, the Secretary General met President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

On his first visit to India as the U.N. chief, Ban Ki-moon outlined the need for swift measures to tackle the financial crisis. In the past month, Ban Ki-moon has stressed that the crisis should not hit hardest "those least responsible". Last week, he warned his top lieutenants that the financial turmoil could jeopardise everything the United Nations had done to help the world's poor and hungry.

Ban Ki-moon will press the issue at a financial summit of G20 leaders called by President George W. Bush on November 15.

ANI

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