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'Peace and stability linked to Kashmir solution'

Written by: Staff

Peshawar, May 4: Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot has said stability and peace in Kashmir is essential for unlocking full potential of regional cooperation and improving security throughout the region.

He expressed these views while delivering a Lecture on ''Inter-Faith Harmony'', arranged by the University of Peshawar, here yesterday.

Mr Bot said the 'composite dialogue' between India and Pakistan is a historic opportunity to work towards lasting peace in the region adding that the people affected by the decisions should be involved in the decision-making process.

''Keeping in view Pakistan's crucial role in the quest for peace and prosperity in South Asia and in Afghanistan, close political cooperation between Europe and Pakistan is necessary,'' he said.

He said the importance of an economic partnership between the Netherlands and Pakistan goes beyond development cooperation and added that of all the 25 member states of the European Union, the Netherlands is Pakistan's fifth largest export destination.

Referring to the presence of NATO forces in Afghanistan, he said their presence is for a limited time to help rebuild the country and bring stability and security as they are the pre-requisites for successful reconstruction efforts.

He said a stable Afghanistan was in the interest of entire region and particularly for Pakistan.

The Netherlands is to deploy some 1,600 troops in Afghanistan's Uruzgan province by July this year.


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