Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged on Wednesday to step up pressure on countries that fuel terrorism.
They made the vow as fallout from a suicide bomb attack that India has blamed on Pakistan overshadowed the latest leg of the crown prince’s Asian tour, which is aimed at boosting the Gulf kingdom’s tarnished image in the wake of the Khashoggi affair.
Modi did not mention Pakistan – a key Saudi ally – as he again condemned the “barbaric attack” in Kashmir last week that killed at least 40 paramilitaries.
“To tackle this menace effectively, we agreed that there is a need to increase all possible pressure on countries supporting terrorism in any way,” Modi said after talks with the crown prince.
“It is extremely important to eliminate the terror infrastructure and stop support to terrorists and their supporters.”
Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader, who arrived in Delhi from Pakistan, where he had offered to help the neighbors ease tensions, responded that “terrorism and extremism is a common concern for India and Saudi Arabia.”
The prince, whose country accuses Iran of backing militant attacks, added: “I want to state that we are ready to cooperate with India in every way, including through intelligence sharing.”
He said India and all “neighboring countries must work together.”
The crown prince, on his first major tour since a scandal erupted over the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October, also signed joint accords on industry and culture, but announced no major deals.
– with reporting by Agence France-Presse