Saudi Arabia backs India on Kashmir
20 January 2001
RIYADH: Riyadh today extended full support to initiatives taken by New Delhi for a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute with Islamabad. It hoped that the two nations would find a solution to the issue through dialogue. Notwithstanding the fact that Saudi Arabia was for a long time seen as an ally of Pakistan, the seeds of the new relationship have been planted by the two nations in the new era. The two countries agreed on opposing terrorism, peaceful resolution of disputes in South Asia through discussions, at a meeting between Mr Jaswant Singh and the top rung of the Saudi leadership. Saudi Arabia does not seem interested in getting involved in the Kashmir dispute . Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz expressed the hope that the Kashmir dispute could be resolved peacefully through meaningful dialogue. Mr Singh met the Saudi ruler King Fahd in the evening and conveyed India’s concern about the cross border terrorism and the efforts made by New Delhi to initiate the peace process. The situation in Afghanistan and its implications on the region was also discussed. India and Saudi Arabia signed a foreign office consultations agreement to upgrade the bilateral ties. Saudi Arabia stressed on improving economic ties between the two nations. It was decided that specific projects for cooperation in the energy sector and joint venture partnerships would be taken up.