Saudi prince agrees to step up anti-terror 'pressure' with India

Leroy Wright
February 22, 2019

Modi welcomed the recent changes initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed to introduce moderation and openness in Saudi Arabia while the Crown Prince conveyed his appreciation for the Indian model of ethos of inclusiveness, pluralism and tolerance. "Together we want to make these investments beneficial for both India and Saudi Arabia", Crown Prince said.

The 1.7 million Pakistani workers in Saudi Arabia would also get relief, he said, adding that more Pakistani labourers would be encouraged to earn a livelihood with dignity and honour in the Kingdom. "We look at Indian people as friends, they played a part in building Saudi Arabia over the past 70 years".

"Saudi Arabia and India share views on increasing co-operation in counterterrorism and tackling cybercrimes", he said.

"I think even in the backdrop of this attack, the economic ties - which are beneficial to both the countries - will remain the focus of the meetings", Kabir Taneja, associate fellow with Observer Research Foundation, a New Delhi-based think tank, told AFP. Saudi Arabia's King Salman had honoured him then with the "Sash of King Abdulaziz", the highest civilian decoration awarded by the West Asian country. He said, the complicity of Pakistan in Pulwama terror attack was very much underlined during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Crown Prince.

Prince Mohammed, who announced his trip before the Kashmir strike on February 14, has embarked on a diplomatic tour of Asia that will eventually take him to China to meet President Xi Jinping. All his efforts were fruitless to instigate the Saudi crown prince to mention Pakistan as a terrorist country in the Joint Statement.

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Saudi Arabia on Wednesday made a "big announcement" vis-a-vis its investment into India.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, center left, and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, center right, witness the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Petroleum, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Feb. 17, 2019.

The crown prince, on his first major tour since the storm erupted over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October, also signed joint accords on industry and culture, but announced no major deals.

Prince Salman said that his visit to India will improve centuries-old ties between the countries, which he said are "in our DNA".

"We are not limited to that investment [refinery], which is the mega refinery. we are looking at other opportunities", Nasser added, according to the Press Trust of India. He is expected to visit China after India.

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