India and Saudi Arabia to further Strengthen Counter-terrorism Cooperation

May 27, 2013 14:10 IST

India and Saudi Arabia on 26 May 2013 decided to further strengthen and deepen their counter-terrorism cooperation.  This was decided during the 4-day visit of External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to Saudi Arabia. The counter-terrorism issue is emerging as a key area of cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia deported deported Abu Jundal, wanted in the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack about a year back. Saudi is concerned about the rise of extremism in the region, including in Pakistan, notwithstanding their close ties.

Both nations discussed the menace of terrorism the world continues to face and agreed to further strengthen our counter-terrorism cooperation which is an essential element of the Riyadh Declaration signed in 2010.

India held talks with Saudi Arabia on a number of issues including the controversial 'Nitaqat' law, counter-terrorism measures and energy security. Saudi Arabia also tried to allay India's fears over the Nitaqat law and stated that the procedures are being taken in the best interest of Indian workers.The Nitaqat law and the ongoing drive to identify workers who are overstaying in the Arab Kingdom was one of the main area of focus during the talks held between the two nations.

Khurshid's visit is the first by an Indian External Affairs Minister in the last five years to Saudi Arabia, India's biggest supplier of oil.

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