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Updated: May 15, 2011 09:24 IST

Russia, Pakistan for joint fight against terror

Vladimir Radyuhin
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Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev shake hands during their Kremlin meeting on Thursday.
AP Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev shake hands during their Kremlin meeting on Thursday.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari were meeting in the Kremlin on Thursday.

Russia and Pakistan have agreed to give top priority to their joint fight against terrorism and drug trafficking and to expand economic ties between the two countries.

A joint statement signed by the Presidents of the two countries, Dmitry Medvedev and Asif Ali Zardari after their talks in the Kremlin noted “considerable progress in the Russian-Pakistani dialogue on political and security issues” and pledged to expand “contacts, consultations, cooperation and coordination of action by the two countries” in promoting peace and regional stability.

Mr. Zardari arrived in Moscow on Wednesday on a four-day official visit, his first foreign trip since Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan earlier this month.

“The Presidents emphasised the priority of their joint fight against terrorism and narcotics crime, which pose a serious challenge to international peace and stability,” the joint statement said.

The two sides signed inter-governmental agreements on cooperation in agriculture, aviation and energy. Russia reaffirmed its willingness to help modernise the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) in Karachi, as well as to build electric power stations and develop gas deposits in Pakistan. However, a memorandum of understanding on PSM announced earlier was not signed.

Mr. Medvedev and Mr. Zardari reiterated their mutual interest in undertaking regional projects involving the supply of electricity from Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan, known as CASA-1000, and the construction of the TAPI gas pipeline from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan to Pakistan and India.

The summit marked further warming between Moscow and Islamabad even as Pakistan's relations with the United States are badly strained.

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