Saudi Crown Prince orders release of 850 Indian prisoners on PMs request

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Saudi Arabia on Wednesday joined a burgeoning list of countries in condemning the Pulwama terror attack carried out by Pakistan-promoted Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), isolating Islamabad further in the process.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in New Delhi that terrorism is a common concern and his country would cooperate with India in combating terrorism and extremism.

Both leaders called upon all countries to renounce the use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

On the Saudi-Pakistan statement calling for avoiding "politicisation" of the United Nations listing regime, Tirumurti said the Saudi side agreed that "comprehensive sanctioning not only of terror organisations, but also the terrorists by the UN".

He also lauded India's strength in the information technology (IT) and said Saudi Arabia too was investing a lot in the sector.

Indian media begun to cry foul after a joint statement of the Saudi Prince's visit to India was issued.

The joint statement by Crown Prince Salman and PM Modi, released late in the evening, fell short of pinning the blame of the Pulwama tragedy on Pakistan. Meanwhile, Modi emphasised that the two countries had agreed that terrorism would not be supported in any form and that pressure should be brought on countries that back terror.

India and Saudi Arabia have taken their bilateral relationship to new heights with a decision to set up a Strategic Partnership Council and hold a summit meeting every two years.

One of the companies taking part at Friday's forum is Pan-Asia, which will contribute to the construction of the first development projects wholly owned by foreign companies in Jazan, Saudi Arabia, with a total value of $1 billion. Pakistan is a close friend of Saudi Arabia.

"It is extremely important to eliminate the terror infrastructure and stop support to terrorists and their supporters". Narendra Modi tried his best to instigate the Saudi Crown Prince to announce Pakistan as a Terrorist country but in vain.

After being personally chauffeured from the airport by the country's prime minister, Imran Khan, bin Salman signed agreements worth $20bn on Monday, a crucial injection of funds for an ailing economy suffering a foreign-currency crunch and which is now negotiating its 13th IMF bailout in 40 years.

"We need to focus on regional security and stability which is a concern for both countries". The investments are likely in the field of energy, refining, petrochemicals, infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, etc.

Recalling the visit of Modi to Riyadh in 2016, he said that "since then we have made great strides, and Saudi Arabia has made the investment of $44 million".

During the trip, India is expecting the crown prince to announce an initial investment in its National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, a quasi-sovereign wealth fund, to help accelerate the building of ports and highways, an Indian official and Saudi state media has said.

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