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Terrorism ’major threat’ to democracy, peace & security: Patil

Terrorism ’major threat’ to democracy, peace & security: Patil
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First Published: Sat, Apr 25 2009. 12 03 PM IST
Updated: Sat, Apr 25 2009. 12 03 PM IST
Warsaw: Observing that terrorism poses a “major threat” to the values of freedom, democracy, international peace and security, India has sought Poland’s cooperation in confronting the menace unitedly as it appreciated Warsaw’s “unreserved condemnation” of the Mumbai terror strikes.
President Pratibha Patil, who is on a state visit here, said India and Poland share common values of freedom, human rights and democracy.
“International terrorism poses a major threat to these values and to international peace and security. We need to confront the menace of terrorism unitedly, Patil said.
“We deeply appreciate in this context, Poland’s unreserved condemnation of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai last November,” Patil said, addressing a banquet hosted in her honour by her Polish counterpart Lech Kacynski last night.
She said both India and Poland believe that there is an “urgent need” to reform the United Nations to make it more compatible with contemporary realities.
“Both India and Poland are committed to the principles enshrined in the UN charter. Our two countries cooperate well in the international fora,” she said and appreciated Poland’s support for India’s candidature for a permanent seat on an expanded UN Security Council.
Patil also thanked Poland for its support for an “unconditional India-specific waiver” by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) last September.
Noting that relations between India and Poland have been traditionally close and cordial, Patil said the bilateral trade could benefit from greater focus on mutual comparative advantages.
“I do hope that the accompanying business delegation from India has managed to network with their Polish counterparts so that the full potential of the trade and economic relations between the two countries is realised,” she said.
The trade between India and Poland last year stood at $1.27 billion, registering an increase of 48% over the previous year.
Indian exports to Poland amounted to $976 million while the country imported $299 million worth of goods from the east European nation.
The President said the two countries have shared civilizational bonds for centuries and that the Polish language also has some connectivity with Sanskrit.
“There is thus very useful foundation to enable us to enhance our cultural and people-to-people contacts. More and more Indians wish to visit Poland,” she said.
Patil also emphasized the need for academic and student exchanges and more cooperation and exchange of films and television programmes.
The President said India seeks to build a peaceful and prosperous world.
“....this (general elections) is, indeed, a gigantic exercise involving an electorate of over 714 million people. Our robust democracy gives every Indian the right to have a say in the kind of government they want to have to run their affairs,” she said.
Patil is currently in Poland as part of her two-nation week-long tour that has also taken her to Spain.
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First Published: Sat, Apr 25 2009. 12 03 PM IST