United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today hailed moves by India and Pakistan that could lead to a summit meeting between the two South Asian countries.
"The Secretary-General warmly welcomes the decision of the Indian Government to invite the Chief Executive of Pakistan to come to New Delhi," a spokesman for Mr. Annan said in a statement. "He is encouraged that General Musharraf has responded positively to this invitation and hopes that a summit between Prime Minister Vajpayee and General Musharraf would be arranged without undue delay."
Mr. Annan believes, the statement said, that a meeting now at the highest level would further ease tensions in the region and facilitate a resumption of a sustained Indo-Pakistan dialogue, "which is very much in the long-term interests of both countries."
The Secretary-General, who recently visited South Asia and conferred with both leaders, has consistently urged India and Pakistan to resume direct contacts to address outstanding bilateral and regional issues, including Kashmir, the spokesman said.