29 May 2004

Jamali speaks to Manmohan

29 May 2004
The Times of India

Jamali speaks to Manmohan


NEW DELHI: Keeping up the momentum of congratulatory telephone calls to the new government here, Pakistani prime minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday.

The two leaders agreed that both countries will continue the commitment to sustain the momentum in bilateral relations.

Jamali and Singh also noted that the recent cricket matches and other exchanges have shown the desire of the people for friendly relations and stressed that "We should respond to this popular will", official sources said.

Manmohan Singh also got a congratulatory call from Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, who expressed satisfaction with the progress in bilateral relations particularly since his visit to India last January. Singh and Khatami reiterated their desire to move bilateral relations in the direction of a strategic partnership.

On Saturday, external affairs minister Natwar Singh said in Jaipur that Congress president Sonia Gandhi was prepared to accept Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf's invitation to visit Pakistan. He too had been invited by his counterpart, Khurshid Kasuri, and was willing to go, said Natwar.

However, Natwar also took a potshot at Musharraf for criticising some of his statements on the relevance of the Simla Agreement. "His foreign minister spoke to me on the telephone a few days ago", said Natwar. "From that, I felt that he agrees with the Simla agreement and other agreements signed later in Lahore and Islamabad. So, my polite submission to Pakistan's president is that he should take the advice of his foreign minister".

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