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India discusses Syria situation with UAE, Turkey, Saudi Arabia

Last Updated: Sunday, September 1, 2013 - 00:06

New Delhi: Describing the developments in war-torn Syria as "disturbing", India on Saturday hoped violence will be avoided warning the situation could go out of control and spill over to other areas near that country.
"I have talked to my colleagues in the Arab world .. And obviously, I have discussed it with my collegues in .. Turkey, UAE and Saudi Arabia but that is before when the issue became more serious," External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said.

He, however, said that "beyond expressing our dismay and distress at the detoriating situation, we do not think that we can be of much help right now. Therefore, it is a matter of extreme concern."

The minister told reporters that India has a small number of people in the mission in Syria and are in touch with them and we hope that all steps which need to be taken will be taken by the government.

"They are obviously in touch with us on a constant basis .. We are still hoping that sanity will return and that things that may cause conflict and spin out of control will be avoided," Khurshid said.

He added "disturbing developments are taking place and the government is keeping its fingers crossed....And that people will give up the idea of escalating violence in order to find a solution. I do not think solutions will be found in escalating violence.

Asked if India was in touch with the US on the issue, he said "at the diplomatic level, obviously our ambassadors have been in touch with the US. I have directly not spoken to anyone."

The minister hoped the world will take the developments there seriously as there were six to seven million Indian expatriates in the region.

He hoped the government in Syria will take all steps to protect the Indians there and the officials in the Indian mission there.

Khurshid said India would definitely support the United Nations` decision on the issue adding "it is difficult for us to say that we would go beyond the United Nations".

He said "I think the UN inspectors are there and they are looking into the immediate point of concern which is whether and to what extent these chemical attacks have taken place".

India has asked all its citizens to leave Syria amid escalation of violence there and the US moving closer to military intervention in the war-torn country.


First Published: Sunday, September 1, 2013 - 00:06

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