July 9, 2012

THE SA'UDS CHOOSE SIDES:

Saudi Arabia's policy shift toward India helps nab terror suspects (Rama Lakshmi, 7/06/12, Washington Post)

Last week, Saudi Arabia deported an Indian accused of involvement in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people, including six Americans. At the same time, news came that Riyadh is likely to deport another accused terrorist to India in the next few weeks.

The shift in Saudi policy toward India is part of the kingdom's broader foreign policy makeover since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, analysts say.

"This deportation is really a first, and it signals Saudi Arabia's changing attitude toward India as much as it also signals the internal changes in Saudi society," said K.C. Singh, a former Indian diplomat. "It coincides with India aligning itself with American interests and India's cautious distancing from Iran."

Saudi Arabia also gives India a gateway to the entire Arab region, where it has little influence, compared with Pakistan. Saudi Arabia can assist India in its quest for energy in the region, improve its access to trading partners and help it address radicalism among Indian Muslims who migrate to the Middle East for lucrative work.

Posted by at July 9, 2012 5:05 AM
  

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