Saudi vows to ease tensions | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 19, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, February 19, 2019

Saudi vows to ease tensions

Crown Prince Salman holds series of meetings with Pakistan leadership before flying on to India today

  • India urges UN court to free death row 'spy' in Pakistan
  • Crown prince receives Pakistan's highest civilian award

 

Saudi Arabia vowed to "de-escalate" rising tensions between Pakistan and India during a high-profile summit in Islamabad yesterday as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman prepares to travel from Islamabad to New Delhi.

The kingdom's foreign minister spoke at a press conference in Islamabad as Pakistan recalled its envoy from Delhi for "consultations", the latest development in a fresh diplomatic crisis between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

Delhi has vowed to retaliate after a suicide blast which killed 40 Indian paramilitaries in Kashmir on Thursday, the deadliest attack in the disputed Himalayan region in decades.

The attack has sparked widespread calls in India for action against Pakistan.

"Our objective is to try to de-escalate tensions between the two countries, neighbouring countries, and to see if there is a path forward to resolving those differences peacefully," said Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

Following the pledge, the crown prince -- widely known as MBS -- held a series of meetings yesterday afternoon with the Pakistani leadership before flying on to India.

After his arrival late Sunday, MBS signed $20 billion in investment deals with cash-strapped Islamabad and vowed to free thousands of Pakistani prisoners in Saudi custody, reported AFP.

He also received the country's highest civilian award yesterday, the Nishan-e-Pakistan (Order of Pakistan), before heading to India to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.

After India, he is expected to finish with two days in China on Thursday and Friday.

Meanwhile, India asked the World Court yesterday to order the release of an Indian national sentenced to death by Pakistan, saying Islamabad had failed to allow him diplomatic assistance before his conviction, as required by an international treaty, reported Reuters.

The hearings at the UN court, formally known as the International Court of Justice (ICJ), revolve around the case of Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, a former Indian navy commander who was arrested in Pakistan in March 2016 and convicted of spying.

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