India, Russia oppose use of force in Iraq
By Harbaksh Singh Nanda
NEW DELHI, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- India and Russia have expressed strong opposition to any unilateral use or threat of use of force against Iraq in violation of the U.N. Charter.
The two governments signed a joint statement on Wednesday night during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to India. The document says that the Iraq issue should be resolved through political and diplomatic means.
"A comprehensive settlement of the situation is possible only through political and diplomatic efforts in strict conformity with the rules of international law and only under the aegis of the United Nations," the joint statement said.
It urged Iraq to cooperate with U.N. arms inspectors searching for weapons of mass destruction.
Russia and India vowed to stand together against international terrorism and extremism.
Russia also supported India's war against terrorism in Kashmir and urged Pakistan to destroy the infrastructure that is available to Islamic rebels.
Before his India visit, Putin had warned that weapons of mass destruction in Pakistan might fall in the hands of terrorists, a charge that Islamabad denied.
The two allies also called for an immediate resumption of the Israeli-Palestine dialogue, saying that there was no alternative to the peace process.
Putin's three-day India visit covered a wide range of issues, including defense sales and bilateral economic relations. Trade between the two stands at $1.4 billion a year.
Putin left New Delhi en route to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, which is the third and final leg of his Asia visit.
He previously visited Beijing.