Amid tensions over Pulwama terror attack, MEA says Pakistan's complicity underlined during Modi-MbS talks

  • Mohammed bin Salman and Narendra Modi held a one-on-one meeting on Wednesday

  • The MEA said that 'complicity' of Pakistan was underlined during the meeting between the two leaders

  • The Saudi crown prince arrived in India on Tuesday, a day after concluding his high-profile Pakistan tour

Amid escalating tensions between India and Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack, Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday to condemn "in the strongest terms" the 14 February Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) strike on a CRPF convoy.

"They expressed strong condemnation of terrorism of all its forms and manifestations. They called on all States to cut off any kind of support to terrorists to all territories of other states. They call upon all countries to renounce the use of terrorism as instrument of State policy," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Secretary TS Tirumurti said during a press conference after the two leaders held a one-on-one meeting. "Both leaders underlined the importance of comprehensive sanctioning of terrorists and their organisations by the United Nations."

 Amid tensions over Pulwama terror attack, MEA says Pakistans complicity underlined during Modi-MbS talks

Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday. Twitter/@MEAIndia

This comes after the Pakistan-Saudi joint statement spoke about avoiding "politicisation" of the UN's listing regime. MbS concluded his high-profile tour of Pakistan on Monday.

"The complicity of Pakistan in Pulwama attacks was very much underlined. They agreed on the need for creating necessary conditions for any resumption of talks," the MEA said.

However, when asked if Saudi Arabia has offered to mediate between India and Pakistan, Tirumurti said, "At this point in time, no mediation has been offered."

According to CNN-News18, in an apparent reference to JeM chief Masood Azhar, Tirumurti also said that India had "some anomalies" in listing of terrorists (in UNSC 1267 sanctions committee). "Therefore, it was important for us to mention this and Saudi side completely agreed," he said.

The Saudi crown prince arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday night, and was received by Modi at the airport. During the Wednesday meeting, the Saudi prince "appreciated consistent efforts" by Modi since 2014, including his personal initiatives to have friendly relations with Pakistan. "Both sides agreed on the need for creation of conditions necessary for resumption of the comprehensive dialogue. The crown prince highlighted terrorism and extremism as matters of great concerns," Tirumurti said.

Earlier at a joint press event, Modi called the Pulwama attack a "cruel symbol" of the scourge of terrorism and sought punishment for the terrorists and their backers. The crown prince, however, did not mention the strike. "Last week's barbaric Pulwama attack was a symbol of the shadow of the inhuman danger hovering over the world. To deal with the scourge, we have agreed that there was a need to ramp up pressure on countries extending any sort of support to terrorism," Modi said, without naming Pakistan.

On his part, the visiting dignitary said, "As far as terrorism and extremism are concerned — which are common concerns — I want to tell India that we will extend all cooperation to you — be it intelligence sharing... not only with India but also with other countries."

Earlier on Wednesday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met MbS and discussed ways to add further momentum to the strategic ties between the two nations besides deepening engagement in the areas of trade and investment. The crown prince will leave New Delhi around 11.50 pm on Wednesday.

With inputs from ANI

Updated Date: Feb 20, 2019 18:39:24 IST