Saudi Arabia to Ramp up Cooperation with India to Tackle Terrorism


New Delhi: Having suffered the worst ever drone and missile attack two weeks ago on its oil facilities, Saudi Arabia said it would be enhancing its cooperation with India in combating terrorism, including choking flow of funds to terror groups and boosting intelligence sharing.

Saudi Ambassador Dr Saud bin Mohammed Al Sati said India and Saudi Arabia are closely cooperating with each other in fighting terrorism and enhancing their level of engagement to deal with the menace.

“Saudi Arabia and India have been closely cooperating with each other in fighting terrorism, including through exchange of information and intelligence,” Al Sati said in an interview.

Saudi Arabia, known to be a key ally of Pakistan, has been siding with India in its campaign to rid the region of terrorism and pledged to extend all cooperation to effectively deal with the challenge. Both countries already signed several agreements in the field of security, including an extradition treaty.

“Saudi Arabia is leading the global campaign against terrorism, terror financing and extremism. We are the founding member of a 68-nation strong Global Coalition to Counter ISIS and one of the founding countries of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Collation,” the Saudi envoy said.

He said Saudi Arabia valued India as a close friend and a “strategic partner” and will further enhance defence and security cooperation.

“We recently became the first Arab country to gain membership of the elite Financial Action Task Force that works against terror financing.

“We have spared no effort to combat terrorism. Our government put in place financial controls and banking regulations as early as 2003 to stop those who financially support terrorism and extremism within Saudi borders and beyond,” Al Sati said.

He recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi”s historic visit to Saudi Arabia in 2016 when the two countries decided to further enhance cooperation in counter-terrorism operations, intelligence sharing and law enforcement.

“The recent attack against Saudi Aramco was not only against the Kingdom, but against the international community as a whole, and was a deliberate attempt to disrupt the global economy. Therefore, the perpetrators should be held accountable,” he said.

About the attacks on Saudi oil installations, the envoy said Saudi Arabia expressed its appreciation for the positions taken by the international community in condemning and denouncing the strikes.

“The kingdom calls upon the international community to assume its responsibility in condemning those that stand behind this act, and to take a firm and clear position against this reckless behaviour that threatens the global economy,” he added.