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Involve India in Iraq, says Kissinger

India, Pakistan and Indonesia will have to be part of efforts to stabilize Iraq, says the former US Secretary of State.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2007 12:12 IST

India, Pakistan and Indonesia will have to be part of international efforts to stabilize Iraq, says former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

In a commentary arguing that withdrawal of American troops from Iraq is not an option, Kissinger says two levels of diplomatic effort are necessary to bring the situation in that country under control.

One would involve creating a contact group of neighbouring countries whose interests are directly affected and which rely on US support, Kissinger said in an article distributed by Tribune Media Services and carried by the International Herald Tribune.

These would include Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. Their function should be to advice on ending the internal conflict in Iraq and to create a united front against "outside domination".

Parallel negotiations should be conducted with Syria and Iran to give them an opportunity to take part in a peaceful regional order, he said.

"Both categories of consultations should lead to an international conference including all countries that will have to play a stabilizing role in the eventual outcome, specifically the permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as such countries as Indonesia, India and Pakistan," Kissinger said.

The US cannot "indefinitely bear alone the burden for both the military outcome and the political structure" in all this, he has asserted.

"At some point, Iraq has to be restored to the international community, and other countries must be prepared to share responsibilities for regional peace.

"Some of American's allies and other affected countries seek to escape the upheavals all around them by disassociating from the US.

"But just as it is impossible for America to deal with these trends unilaterally, sooner or later a common effort to rebuild the international order will be imposed on all the potential targets," he said.

Kissinger served under Richard Nixon and was widely blamed for escalating the war in Indo-China, particularly in Cambodia. During the 1971 India-Pakistan war, he and Nixon took a brazenly pro-Islamabad stand.

First Published: Jan 21, 2007 12:12 IST