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Saudi-Pak strained relations due to Zardari being perceived "corrupt", reveals WikiLeaks

By Abdul Nisar

Islamabad, Dec 1 (ANI): Revealing the "strained" Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relations, a US embassy cable posted by WikiLeaks has said that the Saudis do not trust and instead consider Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari as well as other leading politicians of the country "corrupt".

"Saudi relations with Pakistan have been strained because the Saudis don't trust Zardari and see him and other leading Pakistani politicians as corrupt," said a secret cable from the US embassy in Riyadh.

"The Saudis are extremely concerned about Pakistan's political fragility, and have worked hard, through their embassy in Islamabad, to bring the Pakistani factions together," stated the cable, whose subject was "Scene-setter for Senator Bond's April 6-6 visits to Saudi Arabia".

It took note of Zardari's visit to Saudi Arabia last November for talks with King Abdullah on Saudi support for the 'Friends of Pakistan' initiative and oil subsidies.

"The visit was an opportunity for Zardari to persuade skeptical Saudis that he can be a trustworthy partner in managing one of Saudi Arabia's most important regional relationships, but his trip appears not to have resulted in new Saudi assistance or other commitments," the cable said.

"The Saudis say they have been holding back economic and political support pending evidence that the political situation in Pakistan is stabilizing," it added. (ANI)

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