Press Interaction of Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Prime
Minister Rasmussen, Copenhagen
Danish Prime Minister Mr. Rasmussen:
Welcome to this Press Conference, first of all, I would like to
welcome the Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Denmark.
Yesterday, we had the EU-India (Business) Summit. Today, the Indian
Prime Minister placed an official visit to Denmark. We have just
had very fruitful meetings, good and substantial discussions;
discussions, which underscored bilateral relations between Denmark
and India, are strong and growing well. Development cooperation
used to dominate our relations but now cooperation is expanding in a
number of areas; trade between our two countries has more than
doubled over the last decade. We welcome this but are convinced
that there is an untapped potential for increasing trade and
investment. Today we discussed the ways of expanding the commercial
relations between Denmark and India not least in the areas of
natural sciences and IT; we also discussed the situation in
Kashmir. I welcomed the conclusions of the elections, many
participated; I hope that these elections will be the starting point
for a forward looking and inclusive dialogue with the people of
Jammu and Kashmir. As mentioned yesterday, we are concerned about
the tensions between India and Pakistan and wish to see a process of
de-escalation the tension must be lowered dialogue is the only way
forward toward a closer understanding I would like to stress that we
certainly recognise that India is a victim of terrorism and
therefore we have again condemned terrorist acts most recently in
connections with the elections in Jammu and Kashmir. We have made
every effort to persuade the leaders of Pakistan to put an end to
cross border infiltrations and we will continue to do so and I think
it is important to stress to create a positive climate for a
fruitful dialogue. Thank you and Mr. Prime Minister please.
Prime Minister Atal Bihari
I am happy to be here in
Copenhagen. I participated in the India-EU Summit yesterday and have
had bilateral meetings with my Danish hosts today. We attach a great
deal of importance to such regular exchanges, which provide us an
opportunity not only to further strengthen our political dialogue
and economic cooperation, but also to address other issues of mutual
Relations between India and Denmark are friendly and warm. I have
had constructive discussions today with Prime Minister Rasmussen on
bilateral, regional and international issues. I also had an
interesting interaction with the Speaker and some Deputies of the
Danish Folketing. I look forward to meeting Her Majesty the
Queen later today.
In my bilateral exchanges, we have discussed ways to enhance trade
and investment. We have identified several potential areas for
cooperation, including information technology, biotechnology,
pharmaceuticals, and food processing and non-conventional energy
India and Denmark share the view that terrorism anywhere and in any
form must be rooted out completely. Both countries are committed to
countering this grave threat to open, democratic and multi-cultural
societies such as ours.
I invited Prime Minister
Rasmussen to visit India to continue our dialogue and I inform you
that he has so kindly accepted our invitation.
Thank you very much Mr.
Prime Minister and we are ready to take a couple of questions:
Question: (Mr. Chandan
Mitra from the Pioneer) (for Mr. Rasmussen) you just said that you
welcome the successful conclusion of the elections in Jammu and
Kashmir and now you look forward for forward looking-dialogue with
the people of Jammu and Kashmir, now what other alternatives methods
of dialogue can be there once an election has already been
Mr. Rasmussen: I am not sure
I quite understand your question what alternatives
Question: If I am quoting
you correctly you said that after the conclusion of the elections
now that the elections are completed you are hopeful of a forward
looking dialogue with the people of Jammu and Kashmir, am I right?
Mr. Rasmussen: Yes.
Question: so how do you
engage the people in a dialogue once an election process is
completed which is the best way for people to express their opinion
so what kind of dialogue is it that you are talking about with the
people of Jammu and Kahsmir.
Mr. Rasmussen: See I don’t
know if it is so easy to answer that question. A dialogue is a
dialogue. And I think democratic free and fair elections are a very
important phase for the establishment of a positive dialogue and a
stable society and this is a reason why I pointed to this that we
really welcome the conclusion of the elections.
Question: But with whom
will this dialogue be held?
Mr. Rasmussen: With whom?
Yeah but I think that…a positive dialogue should include all
stakeholders who fee committed to the respects of democracy and
human rights and the values we share. Ye please?
Question: My question is
to Prime Minister Vajpayee, since yesterday during your visit here
Kashmir and Pakistan have been at the forefront of the agenda. Do
you feel any kind of pressure to begin a dialogue with Pakistan?
Prime Minister Vajpayee: We have been told repeatedly that pressure
is been put on –Pakistan – to stop cross border terrorism that will
clear the way for having a dialogue. We have requested our Danish
Prime Minister to add some more pressure to bring down the people of
Pakistan particularly the leader.