Saudi crown prince, Indian PM vow to fight terrorism

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman receives a Guard of Honour at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman receives a Guard of Honour at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi

They called on all states to reject the use of terrorism against other countries; dismantle terrorism infrastructures where they happen to exist and to cut off any kind of support and financing to the terrorists perpetrating terrorism from all territories against other states; and bring perpetrators of acts of terrorism to justice.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (L) waves while posing for media with Indian President Ram Nath Kovind (C) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during ceremonial reception at Presidential palace in New Delhi on February 20, 2019.

"On the issue of extremism and terrorism, which is a common concern, we want to tell India that we will cooperate in every way, including intelligence-sharing", he said.

The Crown Prince's Asian tour, which will include China, is regarded as part of an effort to help rebuild his reputation overseas after the killing last October of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi leadership.

"We want to make the relations between India and Saudi Arabia beneficial for both countries", he said.

New Delhi, which accuses Pakistan of giving sanctuary to terror groups that carry out strikes in India, is trying to build diplomatic pressure against Islamabad. Islamabad, which banned JeM in 2002, has denied any role. He further asserted that "Saudi Arabia" is amongst the most valuable "strategic partner" to India.

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Two-way trade totaled over $ 27 billion previous year.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia signed investment agreements with Pakistan worth $20 billion. The investments are likely in the field of energy, refining, petrochemicals, infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, etc. Saudi Arabia is a top supplier of oil to India, which is one of the world's largest oil importers and provides about one fifth of its crude.

Aramco signed an accord in April previous year with Indian investors on a $44-billion petrochemical project in western India. Nasser, a member of the crown prince's delegation, said his firm was in talks with other Indian firms as well. "Talks are already going on about the areas and sectors we should be looking at".

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday said his visit to India will improve centuries-old ties, which he said are "in our DNA".

NSA Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary V K Gokhale with Prince Turki bin Mohammed bin Fahd Al Saud, in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma tweeted, "PM Modi seems to be eager to compete with and emulate the Pakistan PM Imran Khan in breaking protocol and receiving Saudi Crown Prince. without any need or justification". "Now, the country's economy is in a take-off position", he said.

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