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  • Mar 6th, 2005
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President Pervez Musharraf arrived in Uzbekistan early Sunday on the first leg of a two-country Central Asian tour, journalists at Tashkent airport said. The President was to hold talks with Uzbek President Islam Karimov and visit the historic Uzbek city of Samarkand during his trip, officials said earlier. Although officials in Uzbekistan have released few details of the President's agenda, security concerns are likely to feature prominently.

Musharraf and Karimov were expected on Sunday to sign an agreement on anti-terrorism co-operation, the Uzbek foreign ministry said earlier.

Earlier, during a brief stopover in Beirut, the President on Saturday visited the residence of late Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri and condoled his death with members of his family.

Rafiq Hariri, who served five terms as the Prime Minister, was killed in a car bomb blast last month.

The President offered Fateha for the departed soul and expressed deep sense of grief and sorrow over the assassination of the former prime minister describing Hariri as his personal friend and a visionary personality. He described his death as a loss for Lebanon, Pakistan and the Muslim Ummah.

While giving interviews to Arabic Channel and Japanese news agency, the President said Pakistan did not establish any links with Israel but will review its policy if Israel moves ahead with Palestinians in the Middle East peace process.

Pakistan would be proud if having a role in the peace process, the President quoted as saying.

He said Pakistan opposed Indian efforts of getting patriot missile system and also having reservations over India's defence co-operation with other countries. "Pakistan would continue its efforts for nuclear non-proliferation," the President said.

Earlier, the President left here on Saturday on a four-day official visit to Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

The President was seen off at the Chaklala PAF base by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, Senate chairman Mohammadmian Soomro, Vice Chief of Army Staff General Ahsan Saleem Hayat and senior government and military officials.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2005

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