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India ready to play 'due role' in Mideast

India has offered to play its "due role" in strengthening the forces of stability in the region.

world Updated: Nov 28, 2007 17:18 IST

Seeking "unprecedented determination and goodwill" for establishment of lasting peace in the Middle East, India has offered to play its "due role" in strengthening the forces of stability in the region.

"India is ready to play its due role in this collective endeavour to strengthen the forces of peace and stability in the region," Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal said while welcoming the joint understanding reached by Israel and Palestinians to resume peace talks with the aim to create an independent Palestinian state by 2008-end.

Sibal, who led the Indian delegation at the US-hosted West Asia summit in Annapolis, said: "It has been repeatedly emphasised in the joint understanding that the negotiations will be bilateral between parties. This is as it should be."

"No one realises better than the two parties themselves how difficult the road ahead will be. Even with the best of intentions, it will require unprecedented determination, goodwill and capacity to offer and accept compromises and concessions, on both sides, if the objective enshrined in this JU (joint understanding) is to be achieved," he said in a statement delivered at Annapolis, Maryland.

Sibal said, "We pay rich tribute to the courage, wisdom and statesmanship displayed by the Palestinian and Israeli leaderships to take risks in the cause of a just and lasting peace between two peoples who though divided by many complex and emotive issues are nevertheless joined by common geography and history."

Lauding US' efforts in bringing the two sides to the negotiations table, he said: "President (George W Bush) and Secretary of State of the US (Condoleezza Rice) have made a signal contribution to facilitate this historic agreement."

First Published: Nov 28, 2007 16:16 IST