The then US President, Bill Clinton, arrived in India, beginning his six-day visit to South Asia, partly in an attempt to ease relations between Pakistan and India over the disputed region of Kashmir.
2001: UN Chief Urges Indo-Pak Dialogue on Kashmir
During meetings with Indian leaders, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, then on a visit to the country, urged the ratification of covenants and the need for dialogue between India and Pakistan on the dispute over Kashmir.
“You must support dialogue and a peaceful way out,” he said.
He then had the opportunity to meet with Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the opposition Congress Party, and Manmohan Singh, then the opposition leader of the Upper House, for a wide-ranging discussion which touched on environment, development, Afghanistan, regional security, the Middle East, Iraq and world economic trends. On Kashmir, the Secretary-General reiterated his appeal for India and Pakistan to talk.
At midday the Secretary-General met with the then President of India, K.R. Narayanan. The Secretary-General expressed his condolences for the loss of life in the Gujarat earthquake. They discussed the Secretary-General’s meeting of the night before with Indian industrialists and also touched on Iraq and Kashmir.
In the early afternoon, the Secretary-General met with Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh for about half an hour. They then joined their delegations for a quick overview of a number of issues. The Foreign Minister thanked the United Nations family for its response to the Gujarat earthquake. They then discussed regional security, the threat of terrorism, the Middle East, Iraq, peacekeeping, nuclear disarmament, free trade and Kashmir, among other topics.