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Narendra Modi announces formation of India-Saudi Strategic Partnership Council

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh on October 29, 2019. Photo: Twitter/@PIB_India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh on October 29, 2019. Photo: Twitter/@PIB_India  

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"In talks with the Crown Prince today, we agreed on setting up the Strategic Partnership Council that will help India address its expectations and aspirations," said Prime Minister Modi in Hindi delivering the keynote address at the Future Investment Initiative Summit in Riyadh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the formation of the India-Saudi  Strategic Partnership Council that will be led by the leaderships of both countries. The announcement was made in Saudi capital Riyadh where Prime Minister Modi paid a visit during October 28-29.

The Indian leader thanked the hosts for far sighted economic planning for Saudi Arabia and praised Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for his leadership role in giving a new vision to one of largest energy suppliers in the world.

"In talks with the Crown Prince today, we agreed on setting up the Strategic Partnership Council that will help India address its expectations and aspirations," said Prime Minister Modi in Hindi delivering the keynote address at the Future Investment Initiative Summit in Riyadh, which has emerged as a major investment event in the Gulf region over the last three years. 

A Joint Statement issued at the end of the visit stated that the founding document setting up the bilateral Strategic Partnership Council was signed by Prime Minister Modi from the Indian side and the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman representing the Saudis. The Joint Statement also included India's condemnation of the recent drone attacks on the Aramco petroleum processing facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais in eastern Saudi Arabia. 

Both sides also condemned terrorism in all forms and stated that no particular religion, race or culture should be linked with international terrorism.   An announcement by the Ministry of External Affairs declared that both sides sealed 12 MoUs on issues such as preventing narcotics trafficking, renewable energy, training of diplomats, defence industry production, security collaboration, and the use of RuPay cards in Saudi Arabia. 

MEA's Secretary in charge of Economic Relations, T.S. Tirumurti said that the discussion also considered possibilities of increasing Indian investments in Saudi Arabia. India, he said, has not "pledged" any amount for Saudi Arabia, but there is a chance of greater private investment from India to Saudi Arabia.

 India also cleared an MoU that will help Hajj pilgrims to travel comfortably in Saudi Arabia during the pilgrimage seasons. Prime Minister Modi who reached Riyadh late on Monday evening, held a series of consultations with Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, Minister of Energy, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Foreign Affairs and with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. He also met with Jordan's King Abdullah II on the sidelines of the visit.

 During an interaction at the trade summit, Mr. Modi also urged for greater respect for international laws and conventions and urged for reform of UN Security Council. "Some countries have become too big and don't want to obey rules. But I think they have to respect and conduct themselves according to the global rules," he said. 

Both sides discussed a number of regional conflicts like the war in Syria and Yemen and sought  lasting peace in the Palestinian territories  for the establishment of the independent Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders with "Jerusalem as its capital".

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 10:17:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-saudi-form-strategic-council/article29826191.ece

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