Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will visit India on Tuesday, a day after he was in Pakistan. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that Salman will try to ease tension between India and Pakistan, after a suicide attack in Kashmir killed 40 Army personnel on February 14.
“Our objective is to try to de-escalate tensions between the two countries, neighbouring countries, and to see if there is a path forward to resolving those differences peacefully,” AFP quoted Al-Jubeir as saying. Salman will be in India for two days and will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.
Salman has stressed that talks are necessary for “peace and stability in the region”. In his joint statement with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, he also said that it was necessary to “avoid politicisation of the UN [United Nations] listing regime”. This comes after China has repeatedly vetoed India’s attempts to blacklist Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar at the UN, including once on Friday.
Salman also praised the Pakistan prime minister’s “openness and efforts” for a dialogue with India, after which he signed deals worth $20 billion with Pakistan.
Salman is visiting India around three years after Modi visited Riyadh in 2016, when the two countries had signed multiple pacts including one on exchanging intelligence on terrorism and money laundering.
His visit also comes after Saudi faced a diplomatic crisis following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Turkey. Khashoggi was a fierce critic of Saudi.