Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that he and Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had agreed that pressure must be increased in all possible ways on countries that aid terrorism.
The remark came in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack last week. Salman is on a visit to India and met Modi on Wednesday afternoon.
In a joint press conference, Modi said the Pulwama attack was a “cruel reminder” of the menace of terrorism. “To deal with this effectively, we have agreed that it is necessary to increase pressure in all possible ways on countries that are aiding terrorism in any way,” Modi said. “It is very important to destroy the infrastructure of terrorism and the support for it, and to get terrorists and their supporters punished.”
Modi further said: “We also need an action plan to tackle extremism so that violence and terror do not misguide our youth. I am happy that Saudi Arabia and India share these beliefs.”
Salman said extremism and terrorism are common concerns for the two countries, and assured India of cooperation on all fronts.
Modi said the two countries were precious strategic partners in the 21st century. The two leaders discussed agreed to strengthen cooperation in renewable energy, Modi said. “It is time to convert our energy relations into a strategic partnership,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Salman had met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and discussed ways to add momentum to the strategic ties between the two countries. Salman was given a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, where he said the centuries-old relationship between the two countries.
The crown prince will leave India for China at 11.50 pm.
The Ministry of External Affairs said the two leaders have condemned the recent attack on the Indian security forces in Pulwama. “The complicity of Pakistan in Pulwama attacks was very much underlined,” MEA spokesperson told reporters at a press conference. “They agreed on the need of creating necessary conditions for any resumption of talks.”
The ministry said the Saudi Crown Prince had appreciated Modi’s efforts since May 2014 to have friendly relations with Pakistan.
Saudi deals with Pakistan
The Saudi prince’s visit came two days after he signed deals worth $20 billion in Pakistan. The prince had 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.
In Pakistan, Salman had praised Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “openness and efforts” for a dialogue with India. He had stressed that talks were necessary for “peace and stability in the region”.