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'Invite India also to the West Asia peace conference'

October 05, 2007 08:44 IST

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has urged US to invite India, among other countries, to the November West Asia peace conference.

Inviting India to the conference, which is to be held at Annapolis in the United States, would provide it "broader international legitimacy", he said. Confirming the initiative, media adviser to Abbas, Md Edwan said, "India is an important country for us and enjoys an international standing."

The Palestinian information ministry said that PA and other countries would urge the sponsors of the conference to also invite India, South Africa, Brazil, Greece, and Spain.

During the visit of India's special envoy to West Asia Chinmaya Gharekhan last month, Abbas said India's friendly relations with Israel can be "a factor of support" in pushing forward the peace process considering the historic ties between two countries.

US President George W Bush plans to invite the members of the international Quartet, the G-8, permanent members of the UN Security Council, the Arab Follow-Up Committee, and three additional Muslim countries, the ministry said.

While the Quartet comprises of the United Nations, US, European Union and Russia, the addition of the G8 countries in the conference means that Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom will also be invited.

China will be invited as a member of the UNSC. The Arab League Follow-Up Committee includes Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Qatar, Lebanon, Egypt, Oman, Morocco, Algeria, Bahrain, Yemen and League Secretary General Amir Moussa.

Turkey, Indonesia, and Malaysia have been added to the guest list as the three prominent Muslim states.

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