5 pacts with Riyadh as Narendra Modi, Saudi King step up ties

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Riyadh: India and Saudi Arabia Monday decided to ramp up their counter-terrorism cooperation as they asked all states to dismantle terror infrastructures “where they happen to exist” and reject the use of terrorism against other countries, seen as an oblique reference to Pakistan.

The assertion was made by the two countries after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s wide-ranging talks with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and delegation-level parleys between the two sides following which five agreements were signed.

The two countries also called on states to cut off any kind of support and financing to terrorists operating and perpetrating terrorism from their territories against other states and bring perpetrators of acts of terrorism to justice.

The pacts signed included one on cooperation in the exchange of intelligence related to money laundering, terror financing and related crimes and another relating to recruitment of Indian workers in Saudi Arabia, home to around three million Indian workers

In the talks, the Indian side indicated to Saudis that India is facing attacks from terror infrastructure in Pakistan as both sides decided to enhance their counter-terrorism cooperation.

The two sides deliberated on enhancing trade and investment ties, particularly in energy and infrastructure sectors.

Saudi Arabia is a close ally of Pakistan and its strong denouncement of terror is seen as very significant.

An official quoted Prime Minister Modi as saying that the outcome of the talks had turned a “new leaf” in bilateral ties.

A joint statement issued after the talks between Mr Modi and King Salman, both at restricted format and delegation level, said the two leaders rejected totally any attempt to link terrorism to any particular race, religion or culture.

“They 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 operating and perpetrating terrorism from their territories against other states; and bring perpetrators of acts of terrorism to justice,” the statement said.

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