India, Saudi Arabia pledge to fight terror together


NEW DELHI: India and Saudi Arabia built on a strategic partnership to take big strides together in fighting terrorism, ramping up security and intelligence cooperation after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi King Salman committed to fighting the scourge together. In addition, Modi invited Saudi businessmen to invest in India, and opened the door for more Indian companies to operate in the desert kingdom.

Appreciating the work of Saudi Arabia against terror, PM Modi said governments across the world should enhance cooperation in intelligence sharing, law enforcement, developing best practices and technologies as well as in extradition arrangements and capacity-building. “India has adopted a comprehensive approach through dealing with its individual elements, including controlling the spread of extremist ideology, plugging financing routes, building a counter narrative to radicalisation through efforts to stem training and recruitment by terrorists,” Modi said.

In a statement to local media later, Modi said, “Segmented and partial approaches to counter the menace will not be effective,” adding there was a need to “de-link” religion from terrorism. There can be no distinction between “good” or “bad” terrorism, Modi said. “No caste, colour, creed or religion,” he added. The unspoken reference to Pakistan was obvious.

In a joint statement issued at the end of his visit, India and Saudi Arabia “agreed to enhance cooperation in counter-terrorism operations, intelligence sharing and capacity-building and to strengthen cooperation in law enforcement, anti-money laundering, drug-trafficking and other transnational crimes.” A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the two sides to enhance “cooperation in exchange of intelligence related to money laundering, related crimes and terrorism financing. The two sides further agreed to take action against illegal transfer of money.”

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