Saudi Crown Prince promises cooperation in combating terrorism

Wednesday 27th February 2019 01:44 EST

Saudi crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) promised cooperation in combating terrorism, stating India and Saudi Arabia agreed on the need to put pressure on countries that back terror while also offering to share intelligence with India. During his discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, MBS said, “As far as terrorism and extremism are concerned, which are common concerns, I want to tell India that we will extend all cooperation to you, be it intelligence-sharing... Not only with India but also with the neighbouring countries.” His remarks came two days after a Saudi Arabia and Pakistan Joint Statement said there should not be “politicisation” of terror lists.

However, during his visit to India, Prince Salman agreed to share intelligence with India on counter-terrorism and, importantly, agreed that terrorists should come under UN sanctions. He also said Saudi Arabia will invest $100 billion in the Indian economy. In his remarks, Modi said, “We have agreed that terrorism should not be supported in any form, and we should put pressure on countries that back terror. To end terror infrastructure, ending support to terror groups and punishing them is essential, so that young people don't take up arms... I'm glad Saudi Arabia agrees with India on this.”

In an interview, Saudi deputy Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir indicated the Saudi-Pakistan joint statement not be read in reference to Jaish-e-Muhammed leader Masood Azhar. “Our policy on listing individuals is very clear. If someone is engaged in terrorism, if someone belongs to a terror organisation that is responsible for murdering people... and if you can't capture that person, he or she has to be designated so that they cannot roam the world freely,” he said.

Meanwhile, MBS said the relation between both countries were “older than history” and these were “in blood”. He said Saudi Arabia was among the most important strategic partners of India in the 21st century. “It is in our extended neighbourhood, is a close friend and an important source of India's energy needs. I am happy that in accordance with you suggestion, we have agreed for biennial summit meetings and Strategic Partnership Council. This will strengthen our ties,” MBS said. Modi said both leaders discussed all aspects of the bilateral relationship and decided to take it to new heights. “We agreed to create a structure to facilitate institutional investment from Saudi Arabia. I welcome Saudi Arabia's investment in infrastructure.”

Ministry of External Affairs secretary (ER) TS Tirumurthi said India and Saudi Arabia agreed in the joint statement that terrorists and their organisations should come under comprehensive sanctions by the UN. He said, “We have a specific context for saying this.”

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