The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Vajpayee replays parley term

New Delhi, Nov. 4: A day after two Pakistan-sponsored terrorists were killed in a pre-emptive strike by Delhi police, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has ruled out any talks with Pakistan, asserting that it would not serve any purpose as long as that country foments terrorism.

Responding to a question on the prospect of resuming talks with Pakistan and his attending the January Saarc summit in Islamabad, the Prime Minister said: “Till terrorist activities continue, dialogue (with Pakistan) will have no meaning.”

Speaking to newsmen at the airport before emplaning for a five-day visit to Cambodia and Laos, the Prime Minister said Delhi has already made its stand very clear that till terrorist activities are stopped, any dialogue with Pakistan would be meaningless.

Asked to comment on the political crisis in Uttar Pradesh, the Prime Minister said he was confident that the crisis would be resolved soon.

The Prime Minister will address the first-ever India-Asean summit in Cambodia tomorrow, focusing on threats posed by terrorism and on greater economic and trade ties. India wants to give a major thrust to cooperation with south-east Asia and the Far-east.

Vajpayee will also discuss with the 10-member Asean, prospects of a free trade area to further strengthen relations with the grouping, besides an Asean integration initiative.

Vajpayee, who visited Cambodia in April this year, would interact with Asean leaders for a comprehensive review of Indo-Asean strategic partnership.

In his departure statement, Vajpayee said India and the Asean countries had a long history of cultural, social and economic interaction.

“With the recent expansion of Asean, we have an even closer geographical proximity. The upgradation of our dialogue with Asean to the summit-level is a recognition of political, economic and security inter-linkages which we have established particularly over the last decade,” he said.

Vajpayee was seen off at the airport by deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, finance minister Jaswant Singh, information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj and several other Cabinet ministers.

The three service chiefs, Planning Commission deputy chairman K.C.Pant and Delhi’s Lt. Governor Vijay Kapoor were also present at the airport.

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