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Pakistan's Gilani Addresses Relations with India at NAM Summit

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said he believes his nation's relationship with India has improved, and "a durable peace in South Asia is achievable."

In his address to the Non-Aligned Summit in Egypt Wednesday, Mr. Gilani said there has been some recent forward momentum in Pakistan's relations with India, its rival and nuclear-armed neighbor.

But, Mr. Gilani said before peace can take hold, outstanding issues such as the status of the disputed Kashmir region must be resolved.

His comments come ahead of a meeting Thursday with Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the summit's sidelines.

The Non-Aligned Movement summit opened Wednesday in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Shiekh. Its theme is "International Solidarity for Peace and Development."

More than 50 heads of state are attending the conference, and many leaders called for emerging powers to play a more active role in shaping the world's economy.

Cuban President Raul Castro called for a "new monetary and economic world order" at the movement's opening session. He said the new financial system must give developing countries preferential treatment, but did not elaborate.

Mr. Castro handed over the movement's presidency to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, whose country will lead the group for the next three years.

The movement has 118 members, and its summits bring together leaders mostly from Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. The bloc represents about 56 percent of the world's population.

The Non-Aligned Movement was formed by developing countries that chose not to align with either the United States or the Soviet Union in the era of Cold War politics. It held its first summit in 1961.

Two days of ministerial-level meetings concluded Tuesday, ahead of the two-day summit. Foreign ministers in attendance endorsed a declaration on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that backs the creation of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.