INDIA-PAKISTAN LEADERS MEETING TO BE STARTING POINT FOR DIALOGUE - RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

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MOSCOW, JANUARY 5. /RIA NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT DMITRI PANOVKIN/ -- Moscow positively assesses the Monday meeting in Islamabad between Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, RIA Novosti was told at of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Press and Information Department.

The Russian foreign policy establishment has expressed the hope that these negotiations will "the starting point for the resumption of a full-scale dialogue between India and Pakistan on the basis of the Simla agreement and the Lahore accords towards the solution of the problems facing them".

Such a meeting will "play a substantial role in strengthening the fundamentals of stability and security, goodneighbourliness and cooperation in the South Asian region", stressed the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The Vajpayee-Musharraf meeting was held within the framework of the 12th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

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