Pakistan must fight terrorism strongly: Sarkozy

Monday, December 6, 2010

NEW DELHI - Calling upon Pakistan to fight terrorism with determination, French President Nicolas Sarkozy Monday appreciated India’s efforts to “stretch out its hand” towards its South Asian neighbour.

“We applaud India’s effort to stretch out its hand. We call upon Pakistan to fight terrorism determinedly,” Sarkozy said in reply to a query on counter-terrorism cooperation at a joint press conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here.

He pointed out that France had stood “shoulder-to-shoulder” with India in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack in which two French officials had also died. They were among the 166 victims.

“Our cooperation on counter-terrorism is without limits,” said Sarkozy.

He said he appreciated Manmohan Singh’s effort to reach out to Pakistan, despite the Indian public opinion being “deeply shocked and traumatised” by the terror savagery.

Sarkozy said that in the 21st century, the only way to ensure peace and security was to “develop together and not against another”, making a reference to the European Union, where former foes now work together.

The president said both France and India have the “same reading on Afghanistan”.

Sarkozy is on a four-day visit to India that ends Tuesday.

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