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PM Modi, Saudi Crown Prince Condemn Pulwama Terror Attack in 'Strongest Terms'

PM Modi, Saudi Crown Prince Condemn Pulwama Terror Attack in 'Strongest Terms'

The talks took place a day after Mohammed Bin Salman leader concluded a high profile visit to Islamabad, and in the backdrop of India's escalating tension with Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman condemned in the “strongest terms” the terror attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, on February 14, in a joint statement issued on Tuesday night.

The two nations underlined the importance of “comprehensive sanctioning of terrorists and their organisations by the UN” amid India’s renewed push to get Jaish chief Masood Azhar listed as a global terrorist. The statement, however, did not mention Jaish or its chief by name.

The Prime Minister and the Saudi prince held bilateral talks earlier in the day in the shadow of escalating tension with Pakistan over last week's Pulwama attack, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed by a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber. The talks took place a day after the influential Arab leader concluded a high profile visit to Islamabad.

The statement said both sides agreed on the need for creation of conditions necessary for "resumption of the comprehensive dialogue" between India and Pakistan.

“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,” it read.

After holding "extensive and successful" talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Salman said terrorism and extremism are "common concerns" and Saudi Arabia will extend all cooperation to India and other neighbouring countries to deal with them.

In his media statement, Modi called the attack a "cruel symbol" of the scourge of terrorism and sought punishment for the terrorists and their backers.

"Last week's barbaric Pulwama attack was a symbol of the shadow of the inhuman danger hovering over the world. To deal with the scourge, we have agreed that there was a need to ramp up pressure on countries extending any sort of support to terrorism," Modi said, without naming Pakistan.

He said dismantling terror infrastructure, eliminating support to terrorism and punishing terrorists and their supporters are very necessary. The two sides inked five pacts to expand cooperation in a range of areas, including trade and investment.

The crown prince, in his media statement, described terrorism and extremism as common concerns and said his country will extend support to India and other neighbouring countries to deal with the challenge.

"As far as terrorism and extremism are concerned - which are common concerns - I want to tell India that we will extend all cooperation to you -- be it intelligence sharing...not only with India but also with the neighbouring countries," he said.

"We will work together so that we can ensure a bright future for the generations to come," he added.

In his address, Modi also called for a strong action plan for combating extremism and so the powers spreading violence and terror cannot mislead the youth.

Modi termed the talks "extensive and successful".

The crown prince arrived here on a less than 30-hour visit Tuesday night, a day after concluding his high-profile tour of Pakistan where he said dialogue was the only way to resolve "outstanding issues" between India and Pakistan.

Amid India's efforts to diplomatically isolate Pakistan over the Pulwama terror attack, the Saudi Crown Prince also announced investments worth 20 billion dollars at the end of his two-day visit to Islamabad.

In a joint statement, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on Monday called for avoiding "politicisation" of the UN listing regime, at a time India is stepping up efforts to brand the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group's chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist.

Saudi Arabia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir, however, said the Saudi-Pakistan joint statement was not directed at India's efforts to get Azhar banned.

"Any person who is a terrorist should be designated. The idea was to ensure that there is no politicisation so that people don't throw names of their political opponents as terrorists. We should not be careless about throwing names of those who are not terrorists," he said.

PM Modi, in a special gesture, received Salman at the airport in Delhi, signifying the importance India attaches to the visit by the leader of the Gulf nation.

After he was given a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday, the crown prince talked about historical linkages between the two countries and stressed on expanding the ties further.

"The relationship between India and Saudi Arabia is in our DNA....Today, we want to be ensured that the relationship is maintained and improved for sake of both the countries and with the leadership of Mr President and the Prime Minister, we can create good things for both the countries," he told reporters.

He also talked about the contribution of lakhs of Indians in the overall development of Saudi Arabia.