PM visits Saudi with Pak in mind
With Pakistan in mind, India is gearing up for greater security cooperation with Saudi Arabia. In his first comment on the recent talks with Pakistan, Singh said there was “no alternative” to dialogue to resolve issues which “divide us”.india Updated: Feb 28, 2010 01:21 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived to an unprecedented welcome in Riyadh on Saturday.
With Pakistan in mind, India is gearing up for greater security cooperation with Saudi Arabia.
In his first comment on the recent talks with Pakistan, Singh said there was “no alternative” to dialogue to resolve issues which “divide us”.
Singh, in an interview to Saudi journalists before leaving for Riyadh, said it was in the common interest of India and Pakistan to cooperate in fighting the menace of terrorism.
On his arrival, Singh was received at the King Khaled international airport by the en-tire Saudi cabinet led by crown prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz. Ten agreements are expected to be signed during Singh’s visit.
The extradition treaty with Saudi Arabia, reported first by HT, to be signed on Sunday, forms an important part of the security cooperation. Officials said it will come as a great deterrent against those wanted in India, including underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, reported to have been using Saudi as a safe haven.
The Prime Minister visits the Gulf nation 28 years after Indira Gandhi visited the country in 1982, in what Indian officials see as a crucial time in the security matrix of the world. Government sources said both nations need to come closer to fight terror, including sharing real time intelligence.
“We are witnessing significant geo-political developments which will directly impact the peace and stability of the region. All these issues need to be addressed through sustained efforts,” Singh said, while speaking to Saudi journalists. “In my dialogue with King Abdullah bin Abulaziz I propose to review the regional scenario and discuss how we can work these complex issues at hand.”
with agency inputs
First Published: Feb 28, 2010 01:18 IST