"Relations between India and the Arabian peninsula in our DNA," the Saudi Crown Prince said. (PTI)
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in a joint statement on Wednesday, condemned "in the strongest terms" the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad. Both sides agree on the need to create "conditions necessary for resumption of dialogue" between India and Pakistan, the statement said. "All countries" must renounce the use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy, said the carefully worded statement, which did not refer to the role of either Pakistan or Jaish in the Pulwama attack last week.
Here is your 10-point cheatsheet to Saudi Arabia Crown Prince's India visit:
- The joint statement underlined the importance of comprehensive sanctioning of terrorists and their organisations by the UN. This was two days after the Saudi Prince, in a joint statement with Pakistan, underlined the need for "avoiding politicisation of the UN listing regime". This was seen as a reference to India's efforts to have Pakistan-based Jaish chief Masood Azhar as a designated global terrorist under UN rules.
- Pakistan was not mentioned in the context of Pulwama but in reference to "consistent efforts" made by PM Modi since May 2014, including his personal initiatives to have friendly relations with the neighbouring country, with the visiting Saudi leader appreciating the efforts.
- Earlier, in a joint media interaction with the Saudi Crown prince, PM Modi referred to the "barbaric terror attack" in Pulwama and said it was another manifestation of the danger posed by terrorism to humanity. "We agree that to deal with it effectively, there is need to put all possible pressure on countries which are giving any kind of support to terrorism," the PM said.
- The two leaders held bilateral talks in the shadow of escalating tension with Pakistan over the attack and criticism of the Crown Prince's visit to Pakistan, where he praised Islamabad's efforts for "regional peace and security".
- "The common concern is terrorism and extremism. We will cooperate with India and neighboring states to ensure future generations are safe. We applaud India's role in this matter," Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in the joint press conference. Saudi Arabia, he said, will help India on this front through intelligence sharing.
- PM Modi had restricted, one-on-one and delegation level talks with the Saudi leader. The two sides signed six agreements, including Saudi investment in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund. "It is time to convert energy partnership into strategic partnership, this is no longer just a buyer seller relationship. I welcome Saudi investment in infrastructure," PM Modi said.
- Saudi Arabia has committed to deals worth $100 billion, which includes $11 billion investments in mega petrochemical project in Maharashtra. They have identified a few projects where they will invest the remaining $89 billion. The two sides inked five agreements in various fields, including tourism and enhancement of bilateral investment relations, the foreign ministry said.
- On Tuesday evening, PM Modi broke protocol to welcome the Saudi Prince at the Delhi airport, where he greeted him next to his special plane with his signature bear hug.
- The gesture was criticised by the Congress. "Breaking protocol, grand welcome to those who pledged $20 billion to Pakistan and praised Pakistan''s ''anti-terror'' efforts. Is it ur way of remembering martyrs of Pulwama?" Congress leader Randeep Surjewala tweeted.
- Amid India's efforts to diplomatically isolate Pakistan over the Pulwama terror attack, the Saudi Crown Prince announced investments worth $20 billion during his two-day visit to Islamabad.
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