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India invited as observer for Arab League summit

Press Trust of India

Posted: Mar 27, 2007 at 1135 hrs IST

Amid calls from the Palestinian Authority government to play an active role in the Middle East, India has been invited as an observer to the Arab League summit this week in Riyadh which focuses on reviving a 2002 initiative that recognises Israel within 1967 borders.

With efforts intensifying to generate a new momentum in the stalled Middle East talks, a four-member delegation led by Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed will be participating at the summit.

The observer countries are free to express their opinion and give advices but do not have voting rights.

This is the third time that India will be taking part as an observer in the Arab League summit. It enjoyed the same status in the last two summit meetings in Algeria and Sudan.

PA Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti in a statement here has said PA highly values India's decision to recognise and revive aid to the national unity government.

He also praised India's support for the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people and their efforts to reconstruct their nation, re-affirming deep rooted and brotherly Indo-Palestinian ties that go far back into history.

"India's role is highly appreciated by us and it has always stood for the just resolution of the conflict," Palestinian Presidency sources said.

New Delhi had accepted the democratically elected Hamas government earlier and has welcomed the formation of the unity government.

It has also played an important role in advising various Palestinian factions towards moderation and finding a peaceful solution to the internal problems.

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