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Kashmir Conflict Has Riyadh On Edge

Kashmir Conflict Has Riyadh On Edge

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Just days after Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman finished his charm-offensive Asian trip to Pakistan, India, and China, the ever-simmering tensions between Pakistan and India flared up again over Kashmir—the territory the two countries have been disputing since 1947 when Britain partitioned its colonies and India and Pakistan became independent countries.

Commodity, currency, and equity markets were on edge last week while nuclear arsenal owners India and Pakistan were saying they carried out air strikes over the so-called Line of Control—the boundary between Indian and Pakistani areas of control over Kashmir.

The two countries have dialed down hostilities since last week and Pakistan said last Thursday that it would release an Indian pilot it had been holding “as a gesture of peace.”  

One of the first countries to send a high-profile official to seek de-escalation of the tension was Saudi Arabia, which had just pledged US$20 billion in investments into Pakistan and another US$100 billion in India, with a large part of these billions of dollars to be invested in the oil industries in both countries.

The world’s top crude oil exporter Saudi Arabia cannot easily ignore a potential new conflict between India and Pakistan, as it has strategic interests in both countries, (apart from the obvious worst-case scenario—a nuclear war in its backyard), Andrew Critchlow, head of news in EMEA for S&P Global Platts, writes in a blog postRelated: Is This The End Of Alaska’s LNG Ambitions?

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent last week the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, to Pakistan with a letter to the Pakistani leadership in an attempt to defuse the latest tension.

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