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Oz Foreign Minister tells Pakistani counterpart to hold polls quickly

thecheers.org    2007-12-29 10:54:01    

Sydney, Dec.29 : Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has urged Pakistan to hold elections as soon as possible and to restore democracy following Benazir Bhutto's assassination.
Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has urged Pakistan to hold elections as soon as possible and to restore democracy following Benazir Bhutto's assassination.

According to news.com.au, Smith warned against any lengthy postponement of the election during a telephone conversation with Pakistan's Foreign Minister Inam ul Haque last night.

"I conveyed the Australian Government's view that democracy and the rule of law are essential prerequisites for achieving peace and stability in Pakistan and the strongest basis for combating extremism," Smith said in a statement.

"I told Mr ul-Haque that Australia strongly supports a return to democratic processes in Pakistan, and the holding of elections at the earliest possible opportunity under conditions allowing for full and safe participation."

"I condemned this act of political violence in the strongest terms. On behalf of the Australian Government, I urged all parties to exercise restraint at a moment of great and grave difficulty for Pakistan," Smith said, adding that the Pakistan Foriegn Minister had thanked him for expressing Australia's support and sympathy. (ANI)
© 2007 ANI

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