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Pakistan, India leaders promise to explore settlement for Kashmir

NEW YORK (AP) _ The leaders of India and Pakistan met Friday and promised measures to gradually ease tensions between their nations and explore a peaceful settlement for the disputed Kashmir region.

After the session in a New York hotel, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said they also discussed the possibility of running a natural gas pipeline between their nations, saying ``such a project could contribute to the welfare and prosperity of the people of both countries.''

Since independence in 1947, the nuclear-armed neighbors have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir, which is split between them and divided by a 1972 cease-fire line called the Line of Control.

The leaders said in a joint statement Friday that they agreed that ``possible options for a peaceful negotiated settlement'' for Kashmir should be explored ``in a sincere spirit and purposeful manner.''
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