Musharraf Courts Wary Europeans

Pledges free elections, nuclear security, no coddling Al-Qaeda
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2008 12:32 PM CST
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, left, and with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana gesture during a media conference at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Monday Jan.21, 2008. Musharraf...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Pervez Musharraf visited Brussels yesterday and Paris today, reassuring leaders that Pakistan will hold fair elections and promising complete security for the nation's nuclear arsenal. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana warned the Pakistani president that future cooperation between the EU and his government is contingent on those criteria, reports the BBC.

In Brussels, Musharraf asked for patience, rather than criticism, on his country's human rights record: "You have taken centuries in reaching wherever you have come. Allow us time for going for the values you have established." In Paris, he told foreign policy mavens the nuclear arsenal is secure; to breach that security, militants would have to either defeat the entire army or win the upcoming election. "There is a zero percent chance of either one of them," Musharraf said.