Saudi Crown Prince offers ‘intelligence sharing’ cooperation to fight terror menace

Saudi Crown Prince offers ‘intelligence sharing’ cooperation to fight terror menace

Agency News

New Delhi, Feb 20: Days after his visit to Pakistan and in a joint statement where he spoke about the need for avoiding "politicisation" of the UN listing regime, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud on Wednesday backed India's fight against terrorism and said it will offer all support including "intelligence sharing".

"As far as terrorism and extremism are concerned -- these are common concerns -- we want to tell India that we will extend all cooperation including intelligence sharing......not only with India but also with the neighbouring countries," the visiting Crown Prince said in a joint media briefing after bilateral talks with the Indian delegation led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"Extremism and terrorism are our common concerns. We would like to tell our friend India that we'll cooperate on all fronts....We will also work with everyone to ensure a brighter future for our upcoming generations," he said.

In his remarks, Prime Minister Modi said - "India and Saudi Arabia are on agreement that this terror menace should not misguide and mislead the younger generation".

"We agreed that there is a need to increase pressure on the countries which support terrorism," the Prime Minister said.

"....sabhi sambhav dabao badane ki avashayekta hae (There is a need to increase all possible pressures on countries which are supporting terrorism in whatever manner they do)," he said.

"The barbaric terrorist attack in Pulwama last week, is another cruel sign of the world from the anti-humanity threat. To tackle this menace effectively, we both sides are in agreement that there is a need to increase all possible pressures on such countries who are supporting terrorism in one manner or the other," he said without naming Pakistan.

He said it will be important for the global community to understand that there is need to destroy terror infrastructures and also to ensure that the perpetrators of such acts are punished.

The strong assertion from the Prime Minister comes a day after Indian Ministry of External Affairs outright rejected Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's demand for 'evidence' and said instead the Imran Khan regime should take action against Jaish-e-Mohammad and its leader Masood Azhar.

"It is a well-known fact that Jaish-e-Mohammad and its leader Masood Azhar are based in Pakistan. These should be sufficient proof for Pakistan to take action," an official statement from the Ministry of External Affairs here has said.

Earlier at the ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan - flanked by President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Modi, the visiting Crown Prince said the strong relationship between India and Saudi Arabia is in "our DNA" - a remark which was readily endorsed by Mr Modi.

"We have very old relations between two countries....Today we want to be sure that this relation is maintained and strengthened for the sake of both countries....The relationship between India and the Arabian peninsula, of which Saudi Arabia represents 80 per cent, goes back to 2000 years....even before history is written".

Breaking protocol, Mr Modi on Tuesday evening received the Saudi Crown Prince as the latter arrived on his crucial and maiden state visit to India.

In the joint media briefing, the Prime Minister said - "Today, we held extensive and meaningful discussions on all subjects of our bilateral relations. We have decided to take our economic cooperation to new heights".

He referred to his 2016 visit and also the interaction between two sides in Argentina two months ago.

"As a result of our meeting in Argentina two months ago, the essence of our strategic partnership has expanded in the areas of security, trade and investment," the Prime Minister said adding "Your 'Vision 2030' and the economic reforms being done under your leadership are complementary to India's major programmes such as 'Make in India' and 'Start-Up India'".

The Prime Minister underlined that it is time to turn energy relations into a strategic partnership, he said. (UNI)