Tharoor upset at fuss over Saudi as interlocutor remark
Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor on Sunday took to Twitter to clarify his remarks on Saudi Arabia's potential role as an interlocutor in India-Pakistan ties.world Updated: Feb 28, 2010 19:30 IST
Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor on Sunday took to Twitter to clarify his remarks on Saudi Arabia's potential role as an interlocutor in India-Pakistan ties.
"Good day of mtgs (meetings), marred in some Indian media by misunderstanding of word 'interlocutor'," Tharoor, who is accompanying Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, said in a tweet from Riyadh.
"An interlocutor is someone u speak to, nothing more," said Tharoor on the social networking site.
"If I speak to u, u are my interlocutor! I mentioned the Saudis as OUR interlocutors, i.e. the people we are here to speak to. Some misinterpretation," Tharoor wrote.
Tharoor had earlier said: "We feel Saudi Arabia has a long and close relationship with Pakistan and that makes Saudi Arabia a more valuable interlocutor to us."
He was responding to a question on whether India will seek Saudi Arabia's support to influence Pakistan to address India's concerns over terrorism emanating from Pakistani territory.
As a mini-storm erupted over Tharoor's remarks, he clarified that New Delhi's desire to seek Riyadh's support on terrorism related issues with Islamabad did not mean giving it the role of a mediator in India-Pakistan disputes.
He said he had never used the word 'mediation' or 'mediator' while talking about a possible Saudi role.
"No chance of my saying Saudi Arabia should be a mediator... Never said that or anything like it," Tharoor said a couple of hours after the media publicised his earlier remarks.
India is firmly opposed to any third-party role in its relations with Pakistan.
This is not the first time Tharoor has landed in a controversy over his remarks on foreign policy issues.
Earlier, Tharoor faced hostile reaction from his own partymen when he allegedly questioned the relevance of non-alignment and Third World-centric foreign policy espoused by Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister.
At that time, he convened a press conference and lashed out the media for misreporting what he said in his capacity as a chair at a public lecture.