Vladimir Putin: Dear ladies and gentlemen.
Today we had very interesting, frank and productive talks with the President of Pakistan, Mr. Pervez Musharraf.
Russia regards developing constructive cooperation with Pakistan in regional and international affairs as important and I am confident that we have a good basis for increasing the bilateral dialogue. Of course, without detriment to relations with our traditional partners.
People in Russia well know about Pakistan's participation in the antiterrorist operation in Afghanistan. We wish successes to President Musharraf in fulfilling the obligations his country has assumed in the antiterrorist coalition, and we wish him success in neutralizing the activity in Pakistan of organizations of militant extremists. By his activity President Musharraf enhances the role, significance and prestige of his country in the international arena.
We note with satisfaction the commencement of the work of the Russian-Pakistani working group on combating international terrorism. We consider that this is only the first step in such cooperation, and that we have to strengthen its international legal base and to achieve cooperation at the practical level. I am confident that all this can be attained.
We count on cooperation with Pakistan in the UN, especially in connection with the election of Pakistan as a nonpermanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations for the upcoming two-year period. President Musharraf and I have a common approach towards the central role of the United Nations in resolving major problems of today, as well as all matters coming within the competence of the Security Council of this organization.
We discussed the state of affairs in South Asia in detail. There was stressed on our side the need for consistent work directed to a resumption of dialogue between Pakistan and India. We favor a settlement of all outstanding problems in bilateral relations, as envisaged by the Simla Agreement of 1972 and the Lahore Declaration of 1999.
We view favorably all the positive steps taken recently in bilateral relations. President Musharraf and I discussed the possibility of a search for new opportunities to normalize relations and for new platforms for exchange of views in a bilateral and a multilateral format.
In the course of the talks, we devoted much attention to trade and economic questions as well. The President and I believe that neither the level, nor the scope of cooperation in this sphere, of course, matches our potentials.
The President drew attention to the areas, which he considers priority areas, that could be used to impart new impetus to our relations in this sphere, and named sectors such as energy, metallurgy, telecommunications and space exploration. All this, of course, will be carefully considered. I think that even before the departure of the President and his delegation from Moscow, we could reach some additional agreements in these areas.
In closing, I would like to thank our Pakistani colleagues for the visit, for the joint work and to stress that the Russian side is extremely pleased with the course of the talks and with their results.