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National interest vs hugplomacy: Congress questions Modi on Saudi crown prince MBS

By Anuj Cariappa

New Delhi, Feb 20: Slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi for receiving Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the airport, the Congress on Wednesday asked whether according a "grand welcome" to those who praised Pakistan's "anti-terror" efforts was his way of remembering the Pulwama attack martyrs.

In a special gesture, Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday received Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the airport last night.

National interest vs hugplomacy: Congress questions Modi on Saudi crown prince MBS

"National interests v/s Modiji's 'hugplomacy' breaking protocol, grand welcome to those who pledged USD 20 billion to Pakistan and praised Pakistan's 'anti-terror' efforts. Is it our way of remembering martyrs of Pulwama?" Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said on Twitter tagging photographs of Modi hugging the crown prince and sharing a laugh at the airport.

Saudi Prince, Modi hold bilateral talks: 'We will jointly act on terror', says PM

Surjewala also urged the prime minister to "show courage" and ask Saudi Arabia to undo its joint statement with Pakistan in which they called for avoiding "politicisation" of the UN listing regime at a time when India was stepping up efforts to brand the JeM terror group's chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

"Modiji, Is asking for a terrorist to be designated as such politicisation of UN listings? Would you show courage to ask Saudi Arabia to undo their 'Joint Statement' with Pak virtually rejecting India's demand for designating Masood Azhar as a 'global terrorist'?" he said.

The Crown Prince arrived in India last night on a less than 30-hour visit, a day after concluding his high-profile tour of Pakistan where he said dialogue was the only way to resolve "outstanding issues" between India and Pakistan.

Saudi Prince Salman meets Modi; Congress slams PM for 'protocol-breaking' welcome

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia signed a slew of investment agreements worth USD 20 billion on Sunday.

The Crown Prince's visit comes days after a Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed's suicide bomber killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel.

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