WASHINGTON, Aug 1: US officials are looking at the reports that senior Saudi officials have discussed the prospect of nuclear weapons cooperation with Pakistan, says a report published on a State Department’s website.
The report, published by the department’s strategic journal called the “US Foreign Policy Agenda,” said although Saudi Arabia does not have nuclear weapons, it is showing interest in the technology. Saudi Arabia does not have weapons of mass destruction,” says the author, a former Pentagon official Anthony Cordesman. “It did, however, buy long-range CSS-2 ballistic missiles from China. Very senior Saudi officials have held conversations with officials involved in the Pakistani nuclear programme, and possibly with similar officials in other countries.”
The report appears in the latest issue of the “US Foreign Policy Agenda,” which focuses on the subject: “Weapons of Mass Destruction: The New Strategic Framework.”
Quoting senior US officials, US media reports said that Saudi leaders have also discussed the procurement of new Pakistani intermediate-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The reports said Saudi officials were invited to tour Pakistan’s nuclear weapons facilities and that no sale has been concluded.
Both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have dismissed such reports as ‘incorrect and misleading’ while a senior Pakistani diplomat said such reports were being circulating by anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim elements in the media and do not reflect the official US thinking on the subject.