Saudi prince agrees to step up anti-terror ‘pressure’

New Delhi: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Indian leader Narendra Modi vowed on Wednesday to increase pressure on countries that fuel terrorism.
Modi did not mention Pakistan as he again blasted the “barbaric attack” in Kashmir last week that left at least 40 paramilitaries dead.
“To tackle this menace effectively, we agreed that there is a need to increase all possible pressure on countries supporting terrorism in any way,” Modi said after talks with the crown prince. “It is extremely important to eliminate the terror infrastructure and stop support to terrorists and their supporters.”
Prince Mohammed, who arrived in Delhi from Pakistan where he had offered to help the neighbours ease tensions, responded that “terrorism and extremism is a common concern for India and Saudi Arabia.’’
The prince added: “I want to state that we are ready to cooperate with India in every way, including through intelligence sharing.” He said India and all “neighbouring countries must work together.’’
The crown prince also signed joint accords on industry and culture, but announced no major deals.
The Saudi delegation had wanted the Delhi leg of the crown prince tour to be devoted to bolstering its oil supplies to India. Saudi Arabia is one of India’s key crude suppliers, along with Iran and Iraq.
Since taking office in 2014, Modi has also sought to attract Saudi investment in trade, infrastructure and defence. Two-way trade was worth $27.5 billion last year.
Salman, who issued a statement after his meeting with Modi, said the kingdom saw investment opportunities “in various fields (in India) to exceed $100 billion in the coming two years.’’
Prime Minister Modi “welcomed the announcement of (the) crown prince to invest $100 billion in India in a range of areas like energy, refining, petrochemicals, infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing etc,” TS Thirumurthy, secretary for economic relations at the Indian foreign ministry, told journalists in New Delhi.
“Economic power is shifting from West to East and India will be (the) second-largest economy ahead of the United States, which is a big opportunity for us,” Amin Nasser, chief executive of Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, told a Delhi investment conference on Wednesday.
Aramco signed an accord in April last 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.
Prince Mohammed said Saudi Arabia has invested nearly $44 billion dollars in India since Modi’s visit to his country in 2016. Prince Mohammed, who was greeted with a traditional Modi bear hug at the airport late Tuesday, was expected to go on to China later Wednesday. — AFP