Pressurise nations backing terror: PM Modi at joint press meet with Saudi Prince

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent
Feb 20, 2019 05:52 PM IST

PM Modi held bilateral talks on Wednesday with visiting Saudi Prince Salman in New Delhi as the two countries seek to deepen their ties and frame a common strategy to deal with the challenges posed by terror.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a joint press meet emphasised the need to fight terror in all forms. The two leaders “agreed” to put pressure on countries providing support terrorism in any form, PM Modi said after holding a delegation-level talks with Prince Salman in New Delhi.

Prime Minister Narender Modi with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a joint press conference at Hyderabad House in New Delhi.(HT photo/Raj K Raj)
Prime Minister Narender Modi with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a joint press conference at Hyderabad House in New Delhi.(HT photo/Raj K Raj)

Asserting that “barbaric attack in Pulwama last week is another cruel imprint of terror”, PM Modi said, “We agreed that to fight this challenge, there is need to put pressure on countries extending any kind of support to terrorism.”

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“Destruction of the infrastructure of terrorism, ending support to terror and bringing the supporters of terrorism to justice is essential,” said PM Modi. The two leaders explored the ways to deepen strategic ties in the wake of Pulwama terror attack, in which at least 40 soldiers were killed last week.

Watch: ‘Will cooperate on all fronts to combat terror’: Saudi Crown Prince to Modi

Saudi Prince Salman said, “Extremism and terrorism are our common concerns. We will cooperate with you (India) in all possible ways including intelligence sharing to counter terrorism. We will work with all the countries to ensure a brighter future for the coming generations.”

Later, briefing the media, TS Tirumurti, a secretary in MEA, said, “The two leaders condemned in the strongest terms the recent terrorist attack on Indian forces in Pulwama in Jammu & Kashmir.”

“Both leaders underlined the importance of comprehensive sanctioning of terrorists and their organisations by the United Nations,” said Tirumurti.

According to news agency ANI, Tirumurti further said, “The complicity of Pakistan in Pulwama attacks was very much underlined (during talks between PM Modi and Prince Salman). They agreed on the need for creating necessary conditions for any resumption of talks.”

Tirumurti denied that Saudi Arabia offered to mediate between India and Pakistan to de-escalate tension in the backdrop of Pulwama terror attack. “Both sides agreed on the need for creation of conditions necessary for resumption of the comprehensive dialogue...At this point in time, no mediation has been offered,” ANI quoted Tirumurti as saying.

The Saudi Prince arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday evening on a two-day visit, which followed his Pakistan tour. The prince returned to Riyadh from Islamabad and after spending a few hours back home, took a 3,000-km flight back to the Indian subcontinent.

In Pakistan, a joint statement by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan made reference to “the need for avoiding politicisation” of the UN regime for listing terrorists. The statement also referred to the prince’s praise for Pakistani premier Imran Khan’s efforts for dialogue with India and opening the Kartarpur corridor.

However, people familiar with developments said India’s relations with Saudi Arabia shouldn’t be compared with those of Pakistan. During the prince’s visit, the two sides emphasised to deepen their strategic partnership on the back of growing security cooperation and intelligence-sharing on terrorism.

During his press meet with Prince Salman, PM Modi said India-Saudi Arabia ties have strengthened since his 2016 visit to Riyadh for the signing of an agreement on cooperation in intelligence-sharing on terror financing. PM Modi said Saudi Arabia is the most valuable strategic partner of India in the Middle-East.

India describes Saudi Arabia as a “key pillar” of its energy security and the kingdom is home to 2.7 million Indians with annual remittances of more than $11 billion.

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