Shoura says bombings in EP will only strengthen unity

Updated 02 June 2015
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Shoura says bombings in EP will only strengthen unity

RIYADH: The Shoura Council has condemned last Friday’s terror attack on the Al-Anoud Mosque in Dammam that resulted in the death of three Saudi citizens and injury to several others.
In a statement following its 43rd ordinary session presided over by Deputy Chairman Amin Al-Jaafri, the council described the incident as a “cowardly terrorist act that will strengthen the unity of the people and increase the anger and frustration of our enemies.”
The Shoura sent its condolences to the families of those killed and also praised the security forces for preventing the suicide bomber from entering the mosque while congregational Friday prayers were being performed.
The Shoura called on scholars, imams, teachers and the media to stand up to these terrorists and those who support them. There was a foreign element involved in these attacks, it said.
The Shoura said it supports the measures taken by the government of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to fight terrorism, preserve the country’s security and stability, and protect the Saudi youth from extremist beliefs.


Saudi Crown prince’s India visit will help expand ties beyond energy

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to India will boost robust interactions that New Delhi has established with Saudi Arabia over the last few years. (Supplied)
Updated 20 February 2019
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Saudi Crown prince’s India visit will help expand ties beyond energy

  • New Delhi’s participation in Kingdom’s mega projects a major aspect of renewed ties: Talmiz Ahmad

NEW DELHI: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s first visit to India is a landmark development in bilateral ties between India and Saudi Arabia, according to Talmiz Ahmad, a former ambassador to Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia is India’s largest supplier of crude oil, but since taking office in 2014 Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought to use India’s growing economy to attract more investment from Saudi Arabia beyond energy, and foster cooperation on trade, infrastructure and defense.

Ahmad, author of several books on the Arab world and twice India’s Ambassador to Riyadh, said that while the backbone of New Delhi’s relationship with the Kingdom is energy, the two sides had been discussing “how to give greater substance and longevity to the relationship on the basis of concrete projects.”

Reuters reported this week that India is expecting Prince Salman to announce an initial investment in its National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, a quasi-sovereign wealth fund, to help accelerate the building of ports and highways. Saudi Arabia has also suggested investing in India’s farming industry, with an eye on food imports to the Kingdom. 

Ahmad said Saudi Arabia’s NEOM project, a $500 billion smart city in Tabuk province on the Egyptian and Jordanian borders, would also provide great opportunities for Indian companies. 

He added that Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the crown prince’s blueprint to fundamentally transform Kingdom’s economy, presents another opportunity for Indian businesses to prosper from the relationship.

“India is extremely well placed,” said Ahmad. “We are world leaders in small and medium enterprises and in the services sector. Saudi Arabia also has proposals to develop its tourism and leisure sectors, and I believe India is also well placed in those areas too.”

He also discussed how the strategic partnership had been initiated by former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who visited Riyadh in 2010, but that Modi, who visited in 2016, had added “considerable substance” to the relationship.

He stressed, though, that Riyadh’s ties with India are independent of its relationship with Pakistan. He added India and Saudi Arabia were also working together to improve the security situation in Afghanistan, to resolve the 17-year conflict between government forces and the Afghan Taliban, as well as in the wider West Asia region. 

“India has excellent relations with all the countries in West Asia, and New Delhi is well placed to address some of the concerns that all the countries have with each other,” he said.