Sunday, 28 February 2010

Saudi Arabia has cut off links with Taliban forces, says Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal

By Syed Akbar
Riyadh, Feb 28: In a major boost to fight against global terrorism, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal said Saudi Arabia had no relations whatsoever with the Taliban forces.
Interacting with mediapersons from India at the Royal Saud Palace here on Sunday, Prince Saud Al Faisal said Saudi Arabia does not maintain relations with the Taliban since the latter was providing sanctuary to Al Qaida. “We do not have any relationship with the Taliban. This shows the seriousness we attach to the fight against terrorism,” he observed.
To a question on terrorism in Pakistan, the Saudi Foreign Minister said there should be political unity in that country to ensure that terrorism does not raise its ugly head.
Pakistan is a friendly country. There’s a dangerous trend. Therefore, one is not only sorry but worry about it. We hope united leadership in Pakistan is achieved to fight the problem.
He said Saudi Arabia is very proud to receive the prime minister. The visit will help in the relations moving in meaningful ways . “We are moving towards strategic cooperation.
There’s lot more to talk about the strategic cooperation. We have clear understanding of the common issues,” the foreign minister observed.
Emphasing the need for peace and well being in the region, Saud Al Faisal said both the countries were moving in the right direction. “We have built the basis from the statement of Delhi to the statement of Riyadh,” he said.
On the need to increasing the quota for the Haj pilgrims, the Saudi minister made it clear that there were lot of logistics problems and until the facilities were improved the quota cannot be increased. India has been demanding an increase in the Haj quota from the present 1.65 lakh since the country has the second largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia.

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