The Russian Foreign Ministry's press department has reported that, on the initiative of the ministry, G8 foreign ministers adopted a joint declaration on Friday to express their concern over the current situation in Indian-Pakistani relations. The ministers expressed their "serious concern about the growth in tension between India and Pakistan as a result of the attack on the Indian parliament on December 13th." "We are firmly convinced that there can be no justification whatsoever for terrorism. We categorically condemn terrorism in all its forms, including the attack on the Indian parliament. We have noted that the Pakistani authorities condemned this attack," the declaration reads. In this connection, the ministers called on Pakistan to take further measures against terrorist groups acting on its territory and aimed, in particular, against Pakistan. These steps would include continuing arrests and bringing culprits to justice, punishing the ringleaders and cutting off their sources of funding. The ministers welcomed a declaration, saying that they would "encourage such an approach," made by the Indian prime minister that indicated that diplomatic efforts would be the best way to solve the problem. The ministers believe that the events of October 13th must not be allowed to have a negative effect on Indian-Pakistani relations. The declaration continues that the G8 ministers hope that both sides will try to avoid an escalation of tension and that they will resume political dialogue in the spirit of the Lahore declaration and that they will pool their efforts to combat the global terrorist threat. The Russian side, the press department commented, was proceeding from the basis that the joint declaration would have a tangible political impact on the situation to prevent any further escalation of tension in Indian-Pakistani relations and would serve as an example of solidarity between the leading states of the world - without double standards - in the fight against international terrorism.
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