‘A significant and successful visit’

‘A significant and successful visit’

Saudi Prince showed sensitivity: sources

Saudi crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman showed “considerable sensitivity to India’s terror concerns” during his one-day visit to Delhi, sources said here on Thursday. Among the highlights of the Crown Prince’s visit, they said, was the structure it gave the India-KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) strategic partnership signed in 2010, substantial enhancement of cooperation on maritime security and intelligence sharing, and a commitment to invest in projects of up to $100 billion in India.

The government has come in for sharp criticism from the Opposition for not ensuring stronger language on terrorism in the Crown Prince’s statement on Wednesday, which did not refer to the Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy of February 14 that left 40 soldiers dead, and made no references to Pakistan and the Jaish-e-Mohammad group that claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the joint statement issued later in the day contained a “strong condemnation” by both Prince Salman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Both sides 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,” the statement added, with a new reference on condemning “state sponsorship of terror.”

According to the new structures agreed upon, three Ministerial groups will now be set up between the two governments and will meet regularly as a part of the new Strategic Partnership Council.

“This was a significant and successful visit,” the sources said. “The enhanced focus on the relationship is due to the personal rapport which [Prince Mohammad Bin Salman] has had with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the past few days.”

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