After donating $20 bn to Pakistan, Mohammed bin Salman gets royal welcome in India
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was personally welcomed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, where he arrived last night after wrapping up a trip to Pakistan.
Mohammed bin Salman's visits to India and Pakistan, whose ties have plummeted since last week's deadly terrorist attack in Pulwama, are part of a larger tour of the region -- he is also due to visit China, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said this week his country would "try to de-escalate tensions" between India and Pakistan and "see if there is a path forward to resolving those differences peacefully", the BBC reports.
India is delighted to welcome HRH Mohammed Bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. pic.twitter.com/wBK1F1UZAANarendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 19, 2019
HRH Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia received a glorious welcome as the Royal aircraft entered the Pakistani Airspace. Formations of JF-17 & F-16s of PAF escorted His Royal Highness who arrived in Pakistan on a two day official visit today.#CrownPrinceinPakistan pic.twitter.com/y3kI9qqJ6ZGovt of Pakistan (@pid_gov) February 17, 2019
The Saudi Crown Prince arrived in Pakistan just days after 40 CRPF personnel were martyred in the suicide attack in Pulwama, a district in Jammu and Kashmir, on February 14. The attack was carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based terrorist group, and the terrorist who masterminded it was killed this week by security forces.
While India has vowed to exact revenge, Pakistan has warned New Delhi of retaliation if it attacks.
While in Pakistan, Mohammed bin Salman said his country had signed investment agreements worth $20 billion.
New Delhi is expecting the Saudi Crown Prince to announce an initial investment in its National Investment and Infrastructure Fund to help accelerate the building of ports and highways, an Indian official and Saudi state media have said.
Saudi Arabia is India's top supplier of crude oil, but the two countries have expanded ties beyond energy and their governments have agreed to build a strategic partnership, India's Ministry of External Affairs has said.
Mohammed bin Salman's tour through the region is his first since the outcry over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year.
Inputs from Reuters