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Indian special envoy visits West Asia

india Updated: Aug 24, 2006 13:32 IST
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With hostilities ending in Lebanon, India has sent its Special Envoy C R Garekhan to the region to take stock of the situation there and assess how New Delhi can help post-conflict.

Garekhan will be visiting four countries, including Lebanon, Syria and Oman during his 10-day visit that began on Monday, officials said here on Thursday.

The visit is taking place amidst a rethinking in the government here on India's participation in the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in view of change of mandate for the peace-keeping force.

Garekhan will hold talks with the leaderships of these countries to assess how India can help the region in various ways, including in reconstruction and rehabilitation of Lebanon.
He will give his assessment to the government after his return on August 31.

New Delhi has already announced humanitarian aid worth Rs 10 crore for Lebanon, which witnessed a bloody conflict between Israel and Hizbollah militia for about a month. The UN-brokered ceasefire came into effect on August 11.

India has sought a long-term solution that addresses legitimate concerns of all parties in the region.

"West Asia is our extended neighbourhood and tensions in that region affects our security and our vital interests," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told Parliament recently.

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