Saudi Arabia orders release of 850 Indian prisoners; quota for Haj pilgrims increased

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks as the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud looks on during their joint press conference at Hyderabad House in New Delhi. (PTI photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman held bilateral talks on a wide range of issues yesterday. The Saudi prince’s two-day visit came nearly three years after PM Modi’s visit to Riyadh in 2016, during which the two nations expanded cooperation across diverse areas including trade, investment and counter-terrorism.

In a joint press conference with PM Modi Saudi Prince called terrorism and extremism a “common concern”, and said said Saudi Arabia will “cooperate with India and neighbouring states” on the matter.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has also ordered the release of 850 Indian prisoners lodged in jails in his country on the request of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Along with the release of the prisoners, the Foreign Ministry said the Saudi Crown Prince has also announced the increase in quote for Indian Haj pilgrims to 2 lakh.

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