Riyadh can help mediate between Islamabad and Delhi, Arab News editor-in-chief tells Indian TV

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Time: February 21, 2019  

  • “Saudi Arabia’s relationship with Pakistan and with India isn’t a new one,” Abbas said
  • He said that as G20 members, closer cooperation would ensure a more “sustainable and a more prosperous Asian future”

DUBAI: Riyadh hopes to one day bring together India and Pakistan, ending years of hostility, Arab News editor-in-chief Faisal J. Abbas has said.
During a television interview with CNN-News 18, Abbas said Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy was to maintain an arm’s length between the two countries.
“Saudi Arabia’s relationship with Pakistan and with India isn’t a new one,” he said.
“We are allies of, and friends with, both India and Pakistan. We hope that one day we can use our influence to bring these two neighbors together and we will try everything within our means to end hostilities.”
He said that as G20 members, closer cooperation would ensure a more “sustainable and a more prosperous Asian future.”
Abbas questioned critics of the visit in India, after the crown prince first went to Pakistan.
“The $20 bln deal announced in Pakistan is in the form of MoUs These will shape the future of the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan for decades to come,” Abbas explained.
“For those who oppose such a deal, let me ask them one question: What would you rather have: A prosperous Pakistan where people are educated and have jobs and are fulfilling their lives with employment and with education? Or a disastrous situation where poverty might lead people to extremism? Give it a thought.”
And he said Saudi Arabia’s influence as the site of Islam’s holiest sites meant the Kingdom had an essential role to play.
“Apart from being an economic powerhouse, it is also the country with the most influence when it comes to religion. So if India wants to combat terrorism, it needs Saudi Arabia on its side.
“There is no other country in the world that has that kind of compass toward two billion Muslims worldwide, toward moderation and ending extremism,” Abbas added.

This article was first published in Arab News

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