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Arab League urges India to push West Asia peace process

NEW DELHI, May 10 (KUNA) -- The Arab League Thursday said India should use its voice and clout in the international community to strengthen the West Asia peace process and called for upgradation of ties between the two sides.
"We want India to use its weight in the international community and its contacts with other countries to advance peace in the Middle East," Hesham Youssef, the visiting envoy of the Arab League, told reporters at Delhi tonight.
"The voice of India is listened to with respect in the world. We want the voice of India to advance the Arab cause," said Youssef, chief of the cabinet of the Secretary General of the Arab League.
"We are in favour of a fair and equitable Security Council. India is an emerging power. We hope India will become a bigger power in the days to come," Youssef said.
Ambassador Hesham Youssef led a five-member delegation to New Delhi on 9-10 May 2007 for the third round of the India-Arab League bilateral dialogue. The Indian delegation was headed by N Ravi, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs. The dialogue took place within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Ministry of External Affairs and the Secretariat of the League of Arab States on 6 March 2002, an Indian External Affairs Ministry statement said here tonight. During the talks, the leader of the two delegations exchanged their views and assessments of regional and multilateral issues. Ravi emphasized the importance India attaches to its long-standing relations of friendship and cooperation with the Arab world, the statement said. The recent high-level exchange of visits between India and the Arab countries and Indias expanding trade and economic relations with West Asia and North Africa and the Gulf were noted with satisfaction. Ravi reaffirmed Indias strong support for the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people. Indias strong commitment to the just and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, to the establishment of a sovereign, independent, viable and united state of Palestine, within well defined and recognized borders, living in peaceful co-existence with its neighbours, was reiterated, according to the statement.
Both sides agreed that possibilities of strengthening economic and commercial relations and cooperation in Human Resource Development, Science, Technology and Tourism within the India-Arab League framework should be studied and developed. In this context, a preliminary exchange of views took place on establishing an India-Arab Cooperation Forum. It was agreed to continue discussions on this subject, the statement added.
During the visit, Ambassador Hesham Youssef also called on India's Minister of State for External Affairs, E Ahamed. The Arab League delegation also had discussions with leading Indian business chambers here on enhancing trade and joint ventures in traditional and new sectors between the Arab nations and India, the statement said. (end) dr.bz.
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