Saudi prince sees investment opportunities of more than $100 billion in India

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"At the request of the PM @narendramodi, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has ordered the release of 850 Indian prisoners lodged in Saudi jails", India's Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a tweet.

Addressing the joint press conference earlier today, Saudi Crown Prince Salman said his country shares India's concerns over terror and is ready to cooperate with intelligence sharing. "We want to increase cooperation with India as it will give a new direction to our relationship", the crown prince said. India said Pakistan's main spy agency was linked to a deadly suicide vehicle bombing that killed 40 members of the security forces in the disputed region of Kashmir, which both India and Pakistan claim in full.

Without mentioning the Pulwama terror attack or the role that Pakistan might have played, Salman acknowledged that terrorism needed to be curbed.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will hold talks on Wednesday with Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi and the sides will discuss issues of the worldwide and bilateral agenda, as well as problems of regional security, a spokesperson for the Indian Foreign Ministry told Sputnik.

During the press briefing, Modi said he had agreed with the prince to strengthen cooperation on counterterrorism and naval and cybersecurity.

President Ram Nath Kovind Wednesday said India wishes to be a partner in Saudi Arabia's "Vision 2030" as he hosted a banquet for the gulf nation's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He did not make any reference to Pakistan, but said his visit to India will improve centuries-old ties between the countries, which he said are "in our DNA". The two sides stressed on continuation of the India-Saudi Arabia Energy consultations. Last year, Saudi Arabia increased the Indian Haj quota by 5,000, enabling 1,75,025 Indians to undertake the pilgrimage last year.

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Replying to a media query, Mr Tirumurti said no mediation was offered from the Saudi side to defuse tensions between India and Pakistan.

After being received at the Islamabad airport by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Saudi leader said in a Saudi-Pak joint statement that dialogue was the only way to resolve "outstanding issues" between India and Pakistan.

The Crown Prince reiterated his country's commitment to meet India's growing needs for crude oil and petroleum products, and substitute for any shortage that may arise from any disruption in other sources, according to the statement.

India's opposition Congress Party meanwhile criticised Modi for welcoming the crown prince "with such abundance - only hours after he promised billions to Pakistan" while Indians were in grief over the Kashmir attack. India is also in touch with the west Asian country when it comes to Afghan Peace process.

Indian foreign policy experts see the crown prince's tour as a landmark development.

"Prince Salman knows that Saudi Arabia's reputation has taken a major hit, and he's keen to demonstrate to the world that his country continues to have friends and do business".

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