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`Bush must help resolve political disputes'

By B. Muralidhar Reddy

ISLAMABAD, NOV. 6. The Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf, has urged the United States President, George W. Bush, to play a "pivotal role" in the resolution of long-standing "political disputes" such as Palestine.

Gen. Musharraf, who telephoned Mr. Bush on his re-election, told him that the resolution of such disputes would address the "root causes of strife and terror." According to the State-run APP, the conversation between the two leaders lasted for 20 minutes.

`Common desire'

The two leaders "reaffirmed the common desire" to strengthen bilateral relations. Gen. Musharraf referred to Palestine and other disputesand said that the resolution of these disputes in a meaningful, just and equitable manner would usher in an era of peace and harmony in the world and by achieving this "you will, no doubt, be earning a unique place in the annals of history."

President Bush on his part reportedly told Gen. Musharraf that the people of the United States greatly value their country's relationship with Pakistan.

Visit Afghanistan

In a related development, Gen. Musharraf left on a daylong visit to Afghanistan to congratulate the President, Hamid Karzai, on his electoral victory and to cement trade and economic ties between the two countries.

Bilateral, political, economic and trade relations and the fight against terror would figure prominently during the meeting between the two leaders, an official statement said.

The other issues likely to be discussed include a peace dialogue between Pakistan and India, regional and international issues and the situation in Iraq, Pakistan Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said.

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