Menon to go to Teheran

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 25 (PTI) With trouble in the Arab worldgrowing, National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon plans totravel to some relatively peaceful parts of the region for anon-the-spot study of the situation.

Menon is slated to travel to Teheran next month fordiscussions with his counterpart there, sources said addingfurther plans are being worked out for visit to some countriesin the Gulf and the Middle East.

They India is watching with concern the situation inLibya where 18,000 Indians are said to be resident and effortswere being made to repatriate them to safety.

Apart from sending naval ships and Air India aircraft,India is also trying to charter ferries from Greece to bringits national out to safety. The naval ship "Jalashwa" itplans to send will take at least 10 days to reach any pointnear Libya, the sources said.

In the end, all the Indian nationals may not not bebrought back home but could be taken to safe places inneighbouring countries because that would make some sense, thesources said.

The sources said government was watching the situationin Libya with concern but would not not like to go public withits views in the interst of the safety of its nationals.

The foreign office has noted that countries in the Westand groupings like European Union were thinking of moving theUN Security Council for slapping sanctions on Libya andfreezing bank accounts of President Muammar Gaddafi and hisfamily members.

India has not not taken any position on the issuekeeping in view the interest of its nationals living there andalso in view of the fact that it has had a "decentrelationship" with Tripoli all along.

Apart from Libya, Indians living in other trouble spots

in the region include 3,50,000 in Baharain and 14,000 inYemen.

New Delhi views the situation developing in the Arabworld as very unfavourable to it because trouble was mountingfor those who are dependent on countries like the US.

The worst is the position for a country like Israel inthe midst of all trouble and senior Indian officials hadconveyed to Israelis that this was the best time for it togive back Golan Heights to Syria as a goodwill gesture for theregion.

Though a senior Israeli official acknowledged theweight of Indian counsel, his government was not not actuallyin a position to do it in view of its historic compulsions.

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