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India, Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism jointly
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 27
India and Saudi Arabia today said their bilateral relations were developing a broad strategic vision, decided to jointly fight terrorism, drug trafficking and transnational crimes and agreed to develop a strategic energy partnership based on complementarity and interdependence.

The Delhi Declaration released at the end of the four-day state visit here of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, underlined the need for intensifying exchanges of high-level bilateral visits and consultations to expand the scope of bilateral cooperation.

The Delhi Declaration said King Abdullah’s visit heralded a new era in India-Saudi Arabia relations and constituted a landmark in the development of increased understanding and cooperation between the two countries and creation of a mutually beneficial partnership.

It described terrorism as a scourge for all mankind and stressed the need for intensifying and coordinating bilateral, regional and global cooperation to combat and eradicate the menace.

New Delhi and Riyadh would closely and actively cooperate to fight the menace of terrorism and other transnational crimes like money laundering and drugs and arms smuggling in a sustained and comprehensive manner.

The signing of the memorandum of understanding between Saudi Arabia and India on combating crime would help in the fight against terrorism, extremism and criminal elements.

The Delhi Declaration said the two countries would make concerted efforts for an early realisation of the proposals to conclude a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, which was before the UN General Assembly, and the setting up of an International Counter-Terrorism Centre, as called for by the International Conference on Counter-Terrorism held in Riyadh in February 2005, in response to the idea proposed by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

It called for the exploration of investment opportunities in all sectors, including infrastructure, in both countries.

The Indian side expressed understanding and appreciation of the balanced petroleum policy of Saudi Arabia, which was considered a trusted and reliable source of oil supplies to international markets in general and the Indian market in particular.

In this context, the Saudi side appreciated the Indian initiative to initiate a regional forum for dialogue among Asian oil and gas producers and consumers.

Both countries would develop a strategic energy partnership based on complementarity and interdependence.

India would assist Saudi Arabia in setting up an ICT Centre of Excellence as well as institutes of higher learning, involving both education and research, in the field of technology in Saudi Arabia.

India would offer opportunities for Saudi students to pursue post-graduate and doctorate-level studies in technical institutions in India and enhance cooperation in human resource development related to telecommunications.

The meetings of the bilateral Joint Commission would be held frequently and regularly and the next meeting of the Joint Commission, to be held later this year, had been tasked to ensure follow-up and implementation of the decisions taken by the two leaders during King Abdullah’s visit to India.

The two sides welcomed the ongoing dialogue between India and Pakistan and their continued efforts aimed at settling the outstanding issues between the two countries.

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