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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 April, 2005, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK
Annan lauds India-Pakistan peace
Kofi Annan in India
Mr Annan says India's aspiration for a Security Council seat is 'legitimate'
The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has lauded the ongoing peace initiative between India and Pakistan.

Mr Annan said in Delhi that peace between the two neighbours was the most "welcome change" in the region since his last visit to the subcontinent.

He told reporters that he was pleased that India was engaged in "meaningful dialogue" with both Pakistan and China.

Mr Annan also said India's claim for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council was legitimate.

Ending a four-day visit to India, Mr Annan also told reporters that the UN was doing it can do to ensure that democracy was restored at the earliest in Nepal.

"The UN and myself would want to see a return to constitutional rule as soon as possible. I think it is very important that political parties are allowed to resume their activities," he said.

'Legitimate'

Mr Annan met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President APJ Abdul Kalam during his visit.

India has pressed its claim for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council in talks with Mr Annan.

Mr Annan said that many member states of the UN regarded India's aspiration to be on the Security Council as legitimate, but as the secretary general of the UN it would not be proper for him to comment on the issue.

Earlier, speaking at a public lecture, Mr Annan said countries should decide before the UN General Assembly meets in September whether the UN should be reformed and the Security Council be made more representative.

"Member states should agree to take a decision one way or the other before the summit meeting this September on the proposal before them, including making the Security Council more broadly representative of the international community as a whole and of the geo-political realities of today," Mr Annan said.

He also urged India to sign an international treaty banning nuclear testing.





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