Saudi Arabia increases India Hajj pilgrim quota

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the increase in quota for Indian Hajj pilgrims to 200,000 at the request of PM Narendra Modi during his recent visit to the country. (SPA)
Updated 21 February 2019

Saudi Arabia increases India Hajj pilgrim quota

  • Today, we want to be ensured that the relationship is maintained and improved for sake of both countries, says crown prince

NEW DELHI: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the increase in quota for Indian Hajj pilgrims to 200,000 at the request of PM Narendra Modi during his recent visit to the country.

Also at the request of Modi, the crown prince ordered the release of 850 Indian prisoners held in Saudi Arabian jails.

In a joint press appearance after talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the crown prince said: “Extremism and terrorism are our common concerns. We would like to tell our friend India that we’ll cooperate on all fronts, be it intelligence sharing. We’ll work with everyone to ensure a brighter future for our upcoming generations.”

The two countries will start a security dialogue at the level of national security advisers and set up a working group on counter-terrorism, said T.S. Thirumurthy, who handles economic relations at India’s Foreign Ministry.

In a joint press statement, both countries agreed to cooperate in combating terrorism. “Last week, the attack on Pulwama reminds us of the danger terror attacks pose to humanity and we are unanimous in our decision that pressure should be applied to any country promoting terror,” said the statement.

It added: “We have agreed that terrorism should not be supported in any form, and we should put pressure on countries that back terror. To end terror infrastructure, ending support to terror groups and punishing them is essential, so that young people don’t take up arms.”

In an interaction with the media at the presidential palace earlier, the crown prince said: “The relationship between India and Saudi Arabia is in our DNA. Today, we want to be ensured that the relationship is maintained and improved for sake of both countries and with the leadership of Mr. President and the Prime Minister; we can create good things for both countries.”

He said: “I admire PM Modi. He is the elder brother and I am his younger brother.”


Houthis threaten global energy security: Arab coalition

Updated 19 August 2019

Houthis threaten global energy security: Arab coalition

  • The Arab coalition denounced Saturday's attack on a Saudi Aramco gas plant
  • The Yemeni militant attack sparked a fire but caused no casualties or disruption to production

RIYADH: The Arab coalition fighting to restore the internationally recognized government in Yemen on Monday denounced a Houthi attack on a Saudi Aramco gas plant in Saudi Arabia.
The militants claimed 10 drones struck the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction plant near the border with the UAE on Saturday.
“The Houthi militia have endangered global energy security by targeting Shaybah oil field in Saudi Arabia,” spokesperson Col. Turki Al-Maliki said.
The militants, who are based in Yemen and backed by Iran, have used drones laden with explosives to target infrastructure in the Kingdom.
Speaking at a weekly press conference in Riyadh, Col. Al-Maliki said the that Houthi and Daesh militias are conducting simultaneous operations in Yemen, stressing that the Houthis, who sparked the Yemen war in 2014, continue to pose a clear threat in the southern Red Sea.
The coalition, which includes Saudi Arabia and the UAE, intervened in the Yemen conflict in 2015 to support forces loyal to the internationally recognized government after it was driven from the capital Sanaa by the Houthis.