Strengthening relations with Saudi Arabia India’s priority

Riyadh, April 3 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Narendra MOdi has said strengthening the strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia was a priority of India.

“Building further on this strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia is one of the foreign policy priorities of our government,” Arab News quoted Modi as saying in an interview on Saturday.

Modi’s visit to Saudi Arabia is a part of his three nations tour which also include Brussels and Washington.

Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia, has described Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as a visionary leader.

“King Salman has led Saudi Arabia with great maturity and foresightedness during one of the most challenging times,” Modi said.

King Salman has taken personal interest in building the Indo-Saudi relationship and further strengthening bilateral cooperation and engagements in diverse fields, he said.

Replying to a question, Modi termed terrorism as the enemy of the entire humanity. “Both India and Saudi Arabia have been victims of the acts of terror resulting in the loss of innocent lives. The recent cowardly acts of terror in Lahore, Brussels, Paris, Iraq and the continuing violence in Afghanistan have shown that terrorists recognise no boundaries.”

“They have no caste, colour, creed or religion. We need to delink religion from terrorism.”

Modi acknowledged and appreciated Saudi Arabia’s role in eradicating the scourge of terrorism. “We deeply appreciate the leadership role being played by Saudi Arabia in the region to fight this menace,” he said.

Modi thanked the Saudi leadership for hosting a large Indian community and for ensuring their continued welfare and wellbeing.

“I have heard immense praise of our community for their educational and technical achievement; for their integrity and sense of discipline; and for their honesty and devotion to work. Such praise fills me with great pride,” he said.

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