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Sunday, 30 December, 2001, 18:47 GMT
Blair urges India-Pakistan restraint
Indian army patrol
Indian army patrol near Pakistan border
Prime Minister Tony Blair is urging India and Pakistan to exercise restraint as tension mounts on their shared border.

The two countries massed troops, tanks and missiles to the region following an attack on India's parliament which Delhi has blamed on terrorists based in Pakistan's territory.

It is in no-one's interests for tensions to mount as they are doing

Downing Street spokesman

A Downing Street spokesman said the UK Prime Minister was calling for "resolve and determination" from Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in cracking down on terrorist groups operating from his territory.

Mr Blair is reported to have discussed the deteriorating situation with US President George Bush in a 15-minute telephone conversation on Saturday.

A statement from US officials on Saturday said Mr Bush also telephoned the Pakistani leader to urge him to calm tensions.

Condemnation

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has expressed Britain's condemnation of the attack on the Indian Parliament and also spoken with ministers in both India and Pakistan to urge restraint.

The Downing Street spokesman said on Sunday: "It is obviously in no-one's interests for tensions to mount as they are doing.

"We welcome the fact that Pakistan, very swiftly after the attack on the Indian Parliament, took steps recently against the terrorist groups operating from its territory.

"We will continue to urge President Musharraf to continue to crack down on these terrorist groups with resolve and determination."

Talks ruled out

Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has ruled out talks with General Musharraf next week and says India is ready for "every eventuality".

The two leaders are due to attend a regional summit in Nepal.

US officials say that in his call to the Pakistan leader, President Bush urged him to take "strong, decisive measures" against militants suspected of attacking India.

Mr Bush told Mr Vajpayee that the United States was "determined to co-operate with India in the fight against terrorism".

See also:

30 Dec 01 | South Asia
Pakistan 'ready for war'
26 Dec 01 | South Asia
US adds pressure on Pakistan
26 Dec 01 | South Asia
China urges border restraint
24 Dec 01 | South Asia
Pakistan freezes militant funds
15 Dec 01 | South Asia
India steps up pressure on Pakistan
15 Dec 01 | South Asia
Suspects held over parliament raid
13 Dec 01 | South Asia
Pakistan leads world condemnation
18 Dec 01 | South Asia
India facing tough choices
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