Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, March 1 (UPI) -- Islamabad must take a strong stance on terrorism to restore bilateral ties with New Delhi, the Indian prime minister said Monday in Saudi Arabia.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh traveled to Riyadh to discuss regional developments and energy concerns. His visit comes on the heels of a high-level meeting between Pakistani and Indian officials aimed at improving ties between the two nuclear-armed foes.
Singh told an audience in Riyadh that he looked forward to a relationship with Pakistan that was grounded in a common future, the Pakistani newspaper The Nation reports.
"Our objective is a permanent peace because we recognize that we are bound together by a shared future," he said. "If there is cooperation between India and Pakistan, vast opportunities will open up for trade, travel and development that will create prosperity in both countries and in South Asia as a whole."
Washington last week said the bilateral talks marked an important step toward regional security. Ties between the two Asian neighbors were strained when Pakistani militants stormed Mumbai in 2008, killing hundreds.
Pakistan complained India focused on terrorism almost exclusively, saying more work was needed on Kashmir on other lingering issues.
"If Pakistan cooperates with India, there is no problem that we cannot solve and we can walk the extra mile to open a new chapter in relations between our two countries," countered Singh.