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India firm on improving ties with Pak, other neighbours: PM

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Aug 23 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said India was committed to improving its relations with all its neighbours, including Pakistan.

''We will remain committed to the wish'' and obligation of developing and expanding relations with all neighbours, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh, Dr Singh said in his reply in the Lok Sabha to a debate on Indo-US nuclear deal.

His remarks, particularly on Pakistan, come in the wake of a setback suffered in the ongoing peace process following the July 11 serial blasts in Mumbai. There is no indication yet on the prospects of Foreign Secretary level talks that were expected to be held in the third week of July to review the progress in the peace process.

Making it clear that UPA government would pursue an independent foreign policy, he said this would be ''subservient only to our national interest.'' The Prime Minister said since the UPA came to power on May 22, 2004, it had made ''big efforts'' to come closer to Russia, the European Union, China and the Arab world.

It was also committed to improving the ties with Tehran and would work for realising the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.

UNI SN VD GC2105

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