NSA Doval in Saudi Arabia, Briefs MBS On Kashmir

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NEW DELHI – National Security Advisor AjitDoval paid a two-day quiet visit to Saudi Arabia during which he apprised Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir after the state’s special status was withdrawn, official sources said on Wednesday.

The Saudi side conveyed to Doval that it is aware of New Delhi’s long-held position on Kashmir and emphasised on the need for de-escalation of tension between India and Pakistan, they said.

The NSA arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Doval and Salman also deliberated on a range of bilateral, regional issues including the missile and drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities last month and ways to further deepen anti-terror cooperation.

Saudi Arabia is a key pillar of India’s energy security, being a source of 17 per cent or more of crude oil and 32 per cent of LPG requirements of India.

Notwithstanding the biggest ever attack on its oil facilities on September 14 that knocked out half of its daily oil production, Saudi Arabia assured India that it was committed to meet the country’s energy security needs.

Ties between India and Pakistan came under severe strain after India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5 to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, and bifurcated it into two union territories.

Pakistan reacted angrily to the move and expelled the Indian envoy. Since then, Pakistan has been trying to rally international support against India on the issue.

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al Jubeir and UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited Islamabad last month in the midst of escalating tension between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.

India also launched a diplomatic outreach to apprise major countries about its decisions on Jammu and Kashmir. (Agencies)


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