Gilani optmistic about having better ties with India

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Islamabad, Aug.14 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Friday that he was optmistic about his country having better and improved ties with India in the near future, and added that Pakistan's foreign policy rests on the premise of having cordial relations with all the countries of the world, particularly with the neighbours.

Describing Pakistan as a responsible nuclear power, Gilani while recalling his recent meeting with Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, said: "I am optimistic that as a result of the steps taken by our two countries, the atmosphere of peace and security in the region will improve and we will be able to play our role as model neighbours on the basis of equality and non-interference in each others affairs."

He, however, said that a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute would continue to be the corner stone of Pakistan's foreign policy vis-a-vis India.

"Resolution of regional disputes on the basis of justice and sovereign equality is our first priority," he added.

The Prime Minister also said that his government attaches immense importance to the country's relations with all brotherly Muslim countries and appreciated the governments and people of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran and Turkey who have always stood by Pakistan in difficult times.

He said a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is very important for us, adding, 'our government since its inception has made continued efforts to promote an atmosphere of brotherhood and peace between the two neighbours'.

The Prime Minister said relations between USA and Pakistan have a special significance for world peace. He appreciated and commended the statements of President Obama with regard to relations with Pakistan.

He said an early approval of the Kerry-Lugar Bill and legislation concerning Reconstruction Opportunities Zones by the American Congress will further improve and strengthen relations between the two countries.

"Our foreign policy also aims at gaining access to the markets of USA and European countries, especially UK, Germany and France," the Dawn quoted him, as saying.

The Prime Minister also referred to Pakistan's historic relations with China, saying that the sapling of this friendship had been planted by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and it has now blossomed into a strong tree "under whose shadow the governments and people of both the countries can live in peace despite the difficult prevailing environment." (ANI)

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