Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks on terrorism and trade on Wednesday, February 20, in the shadow of India's escalating tension with Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack on February 14.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince said that he saw investment opportunities of more than 100 billion dollars in India in various sectors over the next two years.
The Saudi prince's visit comes nearly three years after PM Modi's visit to Riyadh in 2016, during which Saudi Arabia had invested $44 billion in India. The two nations expanded cooperation across diverse areas including trade, investment and counter-terrorism. He also said that Saudi has invested in India's IT industry.
On Wednesday, with PM Modi by his side, Mohammed bin Salman said extremism and terrorism were common concerns for both India and Saudi Arabia.
The Crown Prince was given a lavish welcome by PM Modi with a warm hug as he arrived in India after his high-profile tour of Pakistan, where he praised Islamabad's efforts for "regional peace and safety". Amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan over the Pulwama terror attack, the Saudi Crown Prince has announced investments worth $20 billion at the end of his two-day visit to Islamabad on Monday (February 18).
Here's a look at the bilateral talks between PM Modi and Saudi Crown Prince:
● In a joint press meet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that India and Saudi Arabia agreed to increase pressure on countries providing support to terrorism.
● "The common concern is terrorism and extremism. We will cooperate with India and neighboring states to ensure future generations are safe. We applaud India's role in this matter," said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He also said that Saudi Arabia will help India on this front through intelligence sharing.
● PM Narendra Modi said, "Saudi Arabia is one of our country's most valuable strategic partners. Our relations have grown stronger. I welcome Saudi investment in Indian infrastructure."
● "Destruction of the infrastructure of terrorism, ending support to terror and bringing the supporters of terrorism to justice is very important," said PM Modi.
● "The economic, social and cultural links of India and Saudi Arabia are centuries old. And it is always conducive and friendly. The close contact between our peoples is a living bridge for our countries Living Bridge," stated PM Modi.
● On terrorism, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince said, "We are with India on their concern and will work to cooperate and intelligence sharing and other field. Terrorism and extremism are a common concern."
● The crown prince also talked about historical associations between the two countries and emphasised on expanding the ties further.
INDIA, SAUDI ARABIA SIGN 5 MOUS:
1) Investment in National Investiture Fund
2) MoU on tourism
3) MoU for cooperation in the field of housing
4) Framework Cooperation Programme for enhancing bilateral relations
5) MoU for cooperation in broadcasting
Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the crown prince in a tweet, saying that he is "delighted to welcome" the crown prince.
In a special gesture, PM Modi broke government protocol on Tuesday to receive Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the airport. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, the crown prince is expected to leave for China from New Delhi at around 11.50 pm tonight (February 20).