Oman blasts terror infra across Indian border

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 19 2008, 05:15am hrs
Coming out in support of India, Oman in an indirect reference to Pakistans support to the terror attack on Mumbai said that there could be no excuse for not dismantling terrorist infrastructure across the Indian border.

This was conveyed by Omans foreign minister Yusuf Bin Alawai Bin Abdullah in his meeting with Indias external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee. In his meeting, the foreign minister of Oman expressed deep condolences at the loss of life in the Mumbai terror attacks and solidarity with the people of India, the external affairs ministry said in a statement here on Wednesday.

Oman also noted that there can be no excuse for not dismantling the infrastructure of terrorism across the Indian border, the ministry said.

Omans expression of solidarity is significant as Pakistan has often tried to mobilise the Arab world against India, with varying degrees of success, on sensitive issues like Kashmir.

Mukherjee thanked his Omani counterpart for his support and solidarity and conveyed sympathies to the family of a citizen of Oman who was injured during the Mumbai attack, which killed more than 170 people, including 26 foreigners.

He also briefed Abdullah about the results of the ongoing investigation into the Mumbai attacks which clearly pointed to the complicity of elements in Pakistan. Informing his guest about the anti-terror pledge given by Pakistan on many occasions, the minister stressed that it was time for Pakistani action not words.

Both the ministers also discussed a host of bilateral issues, including the intensification of bilateral trade which is estimated to be close to $2 billion. The two sides sought to strengthen ties in various areas, including energy, petrochemicals, IT and joint investments.

In November, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the Gulf countries Oman and Qatar to boost trade and cultural ties. During that visit, an MoU was signed between Indias largest bank, State Bank of India (SBI) and State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) of Sultanate of Oman, to set up the India-Oman Joint Investment Fund during Singhs visit.

The fund would be set up with an initial capital of $ 100 million, which will be later expanded to $ 1.5 billion. It will be utilised in financing various projects in the fields of tourism, infrastructure, health, telecom and urban infrastructure in either country.