Japan hails resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue

Islamabad, Feb 22 (PTI) Japan today hailed theresumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan as PresidentAsif Ali Zardari met Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan inTokyo.

"Prime Minister Kan welcomed the agreement betweenPakistan and India on the resumption of dialogue on all issuesfollowing the Pakistan-India Foreign Secretary level talks inThimphu, Bhutan, on February 6, 2011," a joint statementissued after talks between the two leaders said.

It said the two leaders reaffirmed that peace andprosperity in the South Asian region is vital for realisingpeace and prosperity across Asia and the world.

"In this regard, Prime Minister Kan expressed hiscommitment to support the role of South Asian Association forRegional Cooperation (SAARC) in promoting regional cooperationin South Asia," the statement said.

President Zardari welcomed Japan''s interest in theforum.

India and Pakistan had on February six decided tocontinue to hold dialogue after Foreign Secretaries of bothcountries met in Thimphu.

The two leaders decided to further strengthenbilateral relations for a comprehensive partnership for peaceand development.

The statement said Zardari appreciated Japan''s role inensuring peace, stability and prosperity in the widerAsia-Pacific region, and in particular, Japan''s efforts topromote stability and development in Afghanistan.

"Prime Minister Kan recognized the geo-politicalimportance of Pakistan and appreciated the significantcontributions being made by Pakistan in promoting global andregional peace, security and stability," the statement said.

They recognised that the stability and development ofAfghanistan is vital for regional stability and stated thatboth governments will continue their support to Afghanistan.

Kan appreciated the role being played by Pakistan infighting terrorism and extremism and acknowledged the immensesacrifices, both human and material, made by Pakistan in theongoing efforts to fight terrorism and extremism, it said. PTIETB

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