China sincerely hopes that India and Pakistan would show the utmost restraint and resolve their disputes through dialog in a bid to ease tensions in south Asia as quickly as possible, Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said in Beijing Friday.
That would not only be in the basic interests of the two countries but would also benefit peace and stability in south Asia, Tang said during a phone conversation Friday evening with Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh.
Tang briefed Singh on his recent visit to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and exchanged views with him on the situation in south Asia.
Tang reiterated China's position on mediation in India-Pakistan relations, and said that China has always been deeply concerned about the situation in south Asia.
In recent years, Tang said, south Asian countries including India have had development opportunities that are not easy to come by, and a stable neighborhood would be vitally important to economic progress.
Tang said he is convinced that stability in south Asia would create a good external environment for India's development, and he hopes India would play a more positive role in easing tensions in south Asia.
Singh expressed appreciation for Tang's concern over the situation in south Asia and for giving China's position.
He spelled out India's views on the current India-Pakistan relations, and agreed to Tang's analysis.
He said he believed that poverty and starvation are the most urgent problems facing India and Pakistan, and peace is the only solution.
Singh emphasized that India is committed to peaceful means and dialogue to resolve disputes.
The two foreign ministers also exchanged views on the Afghan issue.
(Xinhua News Agency May 25, 2002)