India, Russia concerned over the safety of nuke weapons in Asia

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Moscow, Dec.8 (ANI): Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Monday expressed grave concern over the safety of nuclear weapons in Iran and other neighbouring countries.

Apparently referring to Pakistan, President Medvedev also called for ensuring tighter control over nuclear weapons by some states.

"We are interested in making the defense capabilities, including nuclear capabilities be under state control, so that they would not be hostage to all kinds of radicals, so that they could not be used to start some kind of large scale conflict or threaten their immediate neighbours," Medvedev added.

He further said: "As to the terrorism and control over nuclear technologies of the world and including the state of affairs in our neighbours, this is a sensitive matter. We have discussed this with the Indian Prime Minister. We are interested to keep nuclear technologies under very strict control on the part of IAEA.

As the Taliban strengthens its grip in Pakistan, India has expressed fears that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal could fall into the hands of the insurgents. Dr. Singh and President Medvedev discussed this issue and other regional and global issuest an informal dinner meeting.

Singh and Medvedev also made a strong pitch for combatting terrorism emanating from Pakistan. The two leaders also discussed current developments in Afghanistan.

"Both India and Russia have an interest in a stable, prosperous and moderate Afghanistan and, we have agreed to regularly consult each other in this important area," Dr. Singh said.

"We have also agreed to enhance our cooperation to meet the grave challenges of terrorism and religious extremism that emanate from our region and threaten both our society," he added.

President Medevedev recalled the Mumbai tragedy and appealed for a steppiing up of counter terrorism efforts.

He said: "Terrorism is terrible evil of this and last century. Russia has once again supported and urged the international community to adopt the Comprehensive Convention on Counter Terrorism and asked the world to take pinpoint actions against countries sheltering terrorists."

Both sides also decided to increase cooperation in counter insurgency efforts like increased intelligence sharing, information gathering and to use instrumentalities to pressurize countries that give shelter or encouragement to terrorist activities. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)

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