India, Saudi Arabia to set up council to deepen anti-terrorism cooperation

Published March 12, 2019
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, right, shakes hand with her Saudi Arabian counterpart Adel al-Jubeir before their delegation level meeting in New Delhi, India, on Monday. — AP
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, right, shakes hand with her Saudi Arabian counterpart Adel al-Jubeir before their delegation level meeting in New Delhi, India, on Monday. — AP

India and Saudi Arabia on Monday agreed to set up a "strategic partnership council" to deepen cooperation to combat terrorism.

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir discussed the proposal with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during a brief visit to New Delhi on Monday, according to a statement issued by India's foreign ministry.

Without naming any country, Swaraj said “an immediate irreversible and verifiable action to dismantle terror infrastructure is essential to fight the menace of terrorism.”

Al-Jubeir called on the Indian leadership days after he visited Pakistan, where he held meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

The minister had at the time assured Islamabad of Saudi Arabia's "support to seek peaceful settlement of all outstanding disputes between Pakistan and India".

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had offered intelligence sharing and other cooperation with India in fighting extremism and terrorism during his visit to New Delhi last month.

His visit came at a time of heightened tension between nuclear rivals India and Pakistan following a suicide attack on an Indian convoy of paramilitary forces in Indian-occupied Kashmir that left 40 soldiers dead.

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