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Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has held with representatives of the Governments of Pakistan and India on monitoring by the United Nations of alleged border incursions and terrorism. [111615]

The specific issue of UN monitoring has not arisen in my right hon. Friend's recent contacts with Indian and Pakistani representatives. We believe that outstanding differences between those two countries, including Kashmir, will be found through a sustained political process between India and Pakistan. Our role, like that of those who wish them well, is that we stand ready, where we can, to help India and Pakistan start and pursue such a process. In this respect we welcome the encouraging news of a resumption of direct: political contact between India and Pakistan, with the telephone call on 28 April between Pakistani Prime Minister Jamali and Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee. We are encouraging both sides to build on the important change in atmospherics which this represents.