jeudi, janvier 26, 2006

Fight terror regardless of faith: Saudi King

Fight terror regardless of faith: Saudi King

HONOUR FOR KING: King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, being received by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Wednesday. The King, who will be the chief guest at the Republic Day Parade on Thursday, signed four agreements with India, and said they would work together to fight terrorism.

NEW DELHI : Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday that New Delhi and Riyadh should fight terrorism together.
The King said the battle against terrorism must be waged "regardless of faith."
The two leaders held discussions on increasing cooperation in the energy sector, with Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar telling The Hindu that the foundations of a "strategic energy partnership" between the two countries had been laid.

The King, who held one-on-one and delegation-level talks with the Prime Minister at Hyderabad House, said that India-Saudi cooperation would benefit all humanity. The two nations, he said, should also work together to rid the world of the scourge of terrorism.

War on terrorism

King Abdullah said the Saudi Government had declared a "war" on terrorism and would continue it for "as long as it takes." He also said that his country was against any support to terrorism — be it of a financial or moral nature. Dr. Singh told the King that India viewed Saudi Arabia as a "very important partner" in tackling global terrorism.

The two leaders also witnessed the signing of four agreements, including a memorandum of understanding on combating crime, which is expected to increase information sharing between enforcement and intelligence agencies.

The Saudi leader stressed his country's sincere desire to move forward its "special relationship" with India not just for its bilateral benefits, but pointed to the spin-offs at the global level as well.
Three other agreements — on bilateral investment promotion and protection, double taxation avoidance and in the field of youth and sports — were signed by senior Government Ministers in the presence of the Prime Minister and the King.

Groundwork for closer ties
Dr. Singh told the King that the agreements would help lay the groundwork for a closer economic relationship, the External Affairs Ministry spokesman told presspersons.
He also briefed the Saudi delegation on the direction of India's economic reforms and invited them to invest in gas, petroleum, infrastructure and fertilizer industries.

He thanked the Saudi Government for raising the Indian quota for the annual Haj pilgrimage from 1,37,000 to 1,47,000, noting that Indians were one of the largest groups that performed Haj.

Speaking to this correspondent after the talks, Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said a joint statement to be issued by the two sides would signal the beginning of an institutionalised dialogue on energy issues.

This dialogue, he said, would cover knowledge-based networks and mutual investment in the petroleum sector. "With the imminent emergence of Saudi Arabia as a source of LNG [Liquefied Natural Gas], we could start discussing long-term contracting for LNG," Mr. Aiyar said.
Earlier, King Abdullah, who was given a ceremonial reception, termed India as his "second home" and hoped that this visit would help in renewing the historic ties between the two countries.

Thank you - THE HINDU, Thursday, Jan 26, 2006


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