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Pakistan PM Calls for Early End of Iraqi War on the Eve of China Visit
Pakistan deplores military action against Iraq and calls for an early end to war, said Pakistani Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali on the eve of his visit to China.

Jamali is scheduled to arrive in Beijing this afternoon to kick off his three-day official visit to China.

"Pakistan along with China and other countries tried hard for a peaceful resolution of the problem," Jamali said.

"We believe that war will not solve problems but increase difficulties and suffering of the Iraqi people."

He added that priority must now be given to averting a humanitarian disaster for the Iraqi people.

"The territorial integrity and sovereignty of Iraq must be preserved and its right over its national resources fully respected," said the prime minister.

Jamali said Pakistan believes the Security Council of United Nations must resume its role for world peace and harmony.

With regard to his visit to China, Jamali said Pakistan and China are close friends and neighbours who enjoy exemplary relations based on the principles of peaceful coexistence.

"It is, therefore, quite natural for me to visit China soon after my election as prime minister of Pakistan to meet the Chinese leadership," he said.

Jamali became the 16th prime minister of Pakistan in November and won a vote of confidence in the special session of the National Assembly in Islamabad in December.

"I look forward to having a detailed exchange of views with Chinese leaders on bilateral cooperation as well as the evolving regional and international situation," said Jamali.

"Friendly relations with China have been the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy," Jamali said, noting the two countries enjoy a time-tested friendship based on mutual trust and respect.

It remains Pakistan's endeavour to further strengthen bilateral cooperation, especially in the economic and trade fields, Jamali said.

Jamali said there is considerable potential to enhance bilateral trade, saying Pakistan greatly welcomes investment from China.

Turning to the situation in South Asia, the prime minister reaffirmed the commitment of Pakistan to a peaceful resolution of all disputes with India and hopes for meaningful dialogue with its neighbour on all issues, including the Kashmir dispute.

Jamali expressed his appreciation of China's stance on the question, saying it has played a very positive role in calling for the resumption of dialogue between the two sides.

(China Daily March 24, 2003)

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