Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday welcomed Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Delhi airport. The Saudi prince’s visit comes a day after he signed deals worth $20 billion in Pakistan. Salman will be in India for two days and is expected to hold extensive talks with Modi on Wednesday.
The prince had also praised Islamabad for its efforts for regional peace and security soon after the Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 security forces personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Salman will try to ease tensions between India and Pakistan.
Salman had stressed that talks were 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.