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'Saudi Arabia can play interlocutor's role in Indo-Pak ties'
Sunday, February 28, 2010 12:27:58 PM, Naveen Kapoor, ANI
Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor
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Riyadh: Keeping Saudi Arabia's close relationship with Pakistan in view, India is hoping to convince Riyadh to play the role of an interlocutor with the objective of improving ties between the two South Asian neighbours.
Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor told reporters here on the sidelines of the Indian delegation's meeting with the Saudi leadership, "We feel Saudi Arabia has long and close relationship with Pakistan and that makes the Kingdom a more valuable interlocutor to us".
Both India and Saudi Arabia face similar threats and dangers from common forces and both, feel the need to have detailed discussions on issues relating to the troubled AFPAK region.
According to India's Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Talmiz Ahmed, "Saudi Arabia is very concerned about the inability of Pakistani leadership to control extremist elements within their country. The Kingdom is also concerned about what is happening in Afghanistan."
India and Saudi Arabia see terrorism as a common battle. Both countries plan to create a mechanism for real time information sharing and pooling of resources.
Tharoor revealed that Saudi Arabia has its own issues with Al Qaeda and understands that the Qaeda is a different side of same coin.
"We expect to have a constructive conversation on the issue. The tentacles of terror have already spread from Afghanistan to Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, and latest is Yemen," he added.
Although New Delhi and Riyadh have found common ground on the issue of terrorism, Saudi Arabia is yet to come out in support of a comprehensive convention on terrorism. It still has a problem with the language and definition of what constitutes state-sponsored terrorism. (ANI)
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