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Vajpayee, Musharraf Meet in Islamabad - 2004-01-05


Pakistan's president and India's prime minister held a much-anticipated meeting in Islamabad on the sidelines of a regional summit. The hour-long meeting between Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee is being described as "friendly and warm." Pakistan officials say their discussions covered all bilateral issues.

The most pressing issue is the dispute over Kashmir. India and Pakistan have gone to war twice over the divided region and were on the verge of war in 2002.

Last year, the two nuclear-armed countries began to ease tensions, and Monday's meeting is seen as another milestone in that process.

Tanveer Ahmed Khan is Pakistan's former foreign secretary. Mr. Khan said,"There is a new realization in India and Pakistan that the only way to solve their outstanding problems is through negotiations and I think that augurs well."

Mr. Vajpayee met Sunday with Pakistani Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali after the opening of a regional summit of South Asian nations.

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