Saudi Prince “admires” PM Modi as an “elder brother”

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi with the Crown Prince, Vice President of the Council of Ministers of Defence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi on February 20, 2019.

Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman today referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as an “elder brother” and sad that he “admires” him.  “We (me and PM Modi) are brothers. Modi is my elder brother. I am his younger brother, I admire him,” Salman said while receiving a grand welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The statement came after the Saudi Crown Prince received a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, where he was received by President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Modi.

His visit comes in the backdrop of the escalating tension between India and Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror group in which 40 CRPF were killed.

In a special gesture, PM Modi broke the protocol to receive him at the Delhi airport, signifying importance India attaches to the visit by the leader of the powerful Gulf nation. In a tweet, PM Modi said India is “delighted to welcome”

Later, both India and Saudi Arabia agree that there is a need to increase all possible pressure on countries supporting terrorism. In the joint statement after holding delegation-level talks with Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, Prime Minister Modi condemned the dastardly Pulwama terror attack and called for global action against “infrastructure of terrorism”.

Without naming Pakistan, PM Modi said: “The barbaric terrorist attack in Pulwama is a symbol of anti-humanitarian threat the world is facing. In order to deal effectively with this threat, we agree that there is a need to increase all possible pressure on countries supporting any type of terrorism.”  “It is the need of the hour to take appropriate action against the infrastructure of terrorism. It is very important to punish the terrorists and all their supporters,” he added.

Salman said that Saudi Arabia is ready to cooperate with India to deal with terrorism and extremism.“Terrorism and extremism is a common concern. We want to tell India that we will cooperate with them on intelligence sharing…not just with India but with our neighbours as well. We thank India for the positive role in this,” he said.

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