Saudi crown prince visits India on 2nd leg of controversial Asia tour
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Saudi crown prince visits India on 2nd leg of controversial Asia tour

The royal’s aircraft touched down in New Delhi on Tuesday. Simultaneously, hundreds took to the streets in India-controlled Kashmir to show their anger at the visit. The participants began marching from the Markazi Jamia Mosque in the town of Kargil in the region’s Ladakh district, AFP reported. They converged on the Lal Chowk Square in Srinagar, the region’s largest city. A day earlier, hundreds of people staged a protest in the capital New Delhi against Saudi war crimes in Yemen and the murder of Khashoggi at Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul last October. Earlier in February, an investigative team led by the United Nations said it believed that bin Salman was the prime suspect in the state-sponsored assassination. “Saudi Arabia is guilty of war crimes in Yemen. Civilians and children have died because of the war criminal Mohammed bin Salman. The Indian government should not give him a red-carpet welcome,” Shujaat Ali Quadri, protest organizer and spokesman for All India Tanzeem Ulema e-Islam association of scholars, told Al Jazeera. In remarks following his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, Bin Salman made no mention either of the scandal surrounding the journalist's muder or the prolonged bloodshed in the Yemen war.  Rather, he cited “terrorism and extremism” as the “common concern” of Riyadh and New Delhi. “I want to state that we are ready to cooperate with India, including through intelligence sharing,” he added. The crown prince also signed joint accords with Modi in the fields of industry, infrastructure, housing, tourism and culture. Bin Salman began his tour of Asia with a visit to Pakistan which was intially delayed by a day amid widespread protests. The royal announced $20 billion of investment in Pakistan. Observers have warned that Riyadh could be using the investment to sway Islamabad’s decisions and stoke further regional tensions and rivalry. Bin Salman’s visits to Pakistan and India have been overshadowed by renewed tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. The next and final stop on the heir to the Saudi throne's tour will be China.

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