Saudi worried over Pakistan situation

By Aroonim Bhuyan, IANS
Sunday, February 28, 2010

RIYADH - Saudi Arabia is worried about the current situation in Pakistan and wants its political leadership to unite against extremism, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal said Sunday.

“Pakistan is a friendly country. Therefore, any time one sees a dangerous trend in a friendly country, one is not only sorry but worried,” the Saudi minister said after a nearly hour-long meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He told the Indian media that Saudi Arabia believed it was the duty of the political leaders of Pakistan to unite and see that extremism did not find its way again into the country.

“This can only happen by a united political leadership in Pakistan and we hope that this work will be achieved,” he said.

Asked about Saudi Arabia’s position vis–vis the Al Qaeda-Taliban ties, the Saudi minister said his country had no relations with the Taliban, whose regime it once recognized.

“As you know, there is no relation between Saudi Arabia and Taliban. The relation deteriorated between the two sides because Taliban gave sanctuary to Al Qaeda,” he said.

“And since that time until today, there has been no relationship between Taliban and Saudi Arabia. That indicates what seriousness we give to that issue.”

On the visit of the Indian prime minister, he said that ever since Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz went to India in 2006, relations between the two countries had moved in manifold ways.

“We are moving towards a strategic cooperation between our two countries,” the minister said.

“It is no small thing to talk about strategic cooperation. In order to do that, you need to have confidence, you need to have a clear understanding of common interests, and you have to understand that together we can achieve what is good for our people,” he said.

Filed under: Terrorism

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