India pledges cooperation with Saudi Arabia in fighting terror

Riyadh—Appreciating Saudi Arabia’s leadership role in fighting terrorism in the Middle East, Indian Prime Minister Nirendra Modi said India was committed to working with Riyadh as well as with its partners in the region to combat the threat. Modi met Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz on Sunday during a two-day visit to the Kingdom.
Speaking to Saudi media, Modi said, “Segmented and partial approaches to counter the menace will not be effective”, adding there was a need to “delink” religion from terrorism.
India and Saudi Arabia on Sunday signed five agreements, including on tackling terror financing and promoting bilateral trade.
Hailing the role of King Salman in nurturing the Indo-Saudi partnership, Modi said building further on the strategic partnership with the powerful nation was one of the foreign policy priorities of his government. “King Salman has led Saudi Arabia with great maturity and foresightedness during one of the most challenging times,” Modi said. Asked about the Palestine issue, Modi said India supports a negotiated solution, resulting in a sovereign independent, viable and united state of Palestine with occupied east Jerusalem as its capital. “India’s continued commitment to the Palestinian cause has been reiterated during the first ever state visit of the President of India to the state of Palestine in October last year,” he said.
Asked about prospects in India for Saudi companies to invest in energy projects, Modi said both sides are committed to elevate “our buyer-seller relationship into a strategic partnership in the energy sector based on mutual complementarities and interdependence”.
“We have to explore significant areas of cooperation matching India’s traditional strengths and the availability of the resources in Saudi Arabia — considerable potential exists for establishing joint ventures in petrochemical complexes, refineries and fertilizer plants,” Modi said.
“We are in the process of a major expansion of our refining capacity to become a regional hub for refined products and we look forward to Saudi investments in joint ventures with Indian public sector units (PSUs) in upstream and downstream sectors in India, Saudi Arabia or in third countries,” he said.—PTI

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