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India's PM in Russia for Terror Talks - 2001-11-05


India's prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, is in Moscow for talks that are expected to focus on the war against terrorism and the future of a post-Taleban Afghanistan. Moscow is the first stop in a 10-day tour by the Indian prime minister that will also take him to the United States and Great Britain.

Mr. Vajpayee is scheduled to meet Tuesday with President Vladimir Putin and other high-ranking Russian leaders to discuss a greater role for India in a post-Taleban Afghanistan and in the fight against terrorism.

Before leaving India, Mr. Vajpayee said he intended to emphasize to Russian, American and British leaders the need to consider who will rule Afghanistan if and when the Taleban are forced from power.

India has long accused neighboring Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism in the disputed territory of Kashmir, and many observers say India is growing uneasy with the support Pakistan is receiving from the United States in return for the role it is playing in the U.S. led war against terrorism.

The Indian prime minister was in St. Petersburg on Sunday, where he toured a naval shipyard. India is one of the main purchasers of Russian-made weapons and other military equipment.

While in Moscow, in addition to his talks on terrorism, Mr. Vajpayee, is expected to sign an agreement committing Russia to build a nuclear power plant in India. The project was conceived during the Soviet era but was set aside after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Under the plan, Russia would design the nuclear facility and supply most of the equipment.

After Moscow, Mr. Vajpayee is scheduled to fly to Washington to meet with President George Bush and then will attend the United Nations General Assembly session in New York. The Indian Prime minister will then fly to London to meet with British Prime Minister Tony Blair before returning to India.

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