Diplomacy

Immediate Action to Dismantle Terror Infrastructure Required: India to Saudi Arabia

This was conveyed during a meeting between external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Saudi state minister for foreign affairs Adel al-Jubeir.

New Delhi: In a clear reference to Pakistan, India on Friday conveyed to Saudi Arabia that that “immediate, irreversible and verifiable action” to dismantle terror infrastructure is essential to fight the menace of terrorism.

This was conveyed during a meeting between external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Saudi state minister for foreign affairs Adel al-Jubeir, who made a 4.5-hour visit to India days after his trip to Islamabad.

Sources, however, said there was no offer, either earlier or now, from the Saudi side to mediate the de-escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan.

Jubeir held extensive talks with Swaraj here with a focus on deepening cooperation to combat terrorism.

It is learnt that the recent tensions triggered by the Pulwama attack and India’s subsequent airstrike on a terrorist training camp in Pakistan also came up during the meeting.

“They (Swaraj and Jubeir) took note of significant developments after the visit of His Royal Highness (Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman) to India. EAM reiterated that an immediate irreversible and verifiable action to dismantle terror infrastructure is essential to fight the menace of terror,” a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) statement said, without naming Pakistan or the post-Pulwama tensions between India and Pakistan.

During his visit, Jubeir also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed bilateral issues, officials said.

“The Prime Minister thanked the leadership of Saudi Arabia for expressing full solidarity with India in the fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” the MEA said.

“It was agreed that Saudi Arabia and India should work together for irreversible, verifiable and credible steps against all terrorists without any discrimination,” it said.

Also read: Why the Saudi Crown Prince’s Visit to India Was a Diplomatic Success

Jubeir briefed Modi on the follow up of the outcomes of the “historical visit” of the Saudi crown prince in February 2019.

“Both the countries have taken significant steps including to boost trade and investment and to achieve USD 100 billion investment from Saudi Arabia into India, which was announced during the visit of the Crown Prince,” the statement said.

At her meeting with Jubeir, Swaraj is learnt to have raised the issue of cross-border terrorism and the need for ramping up pressure on Islamabad to take action to dismantle terror infrastructure in that country.

During the meeting, it was agreed to set up the strategic partnership council at the earliest.

The gesture from Saudi side to increase India’s Haj quota to two lakh and the pardon to 850 Indian prisoners was highly appreciated, the MEA said.

The Saudi minister’s visit here comes against the backdrop of global efforts to de-escalate tension between India and Pakistan triggered by the suicide attack by JeM in Pulwama on February 14 in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed and subsequent aerial strike by India on a training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot on February 26.

Pakistan retaliated the next day by unsuccessfully attempting to target Indian military installations.

Last week, Jubeir visited Islamabad and met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. During the meeting, he delivered to Khan a “special message” from Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, according to Pakistani media reports.

He also held talks with Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Countries like the US, the UK, China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were involved in easing tensions between India and Pakistan.

Jubeir’s visit to the two countries comes weeks after the Crown Prince’s stand-alone visits to India and Pakistan soon after the Pulwama terror attack.

Join The Discussion