Saudi crown prince on state visit to India; holds talks with Modi on trade, defence, culture
India-Saudi Arabia partnership crucial for stability, welfare of region and world, said Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.
Indian president Droupadi Murmu (centre) and prime minister Narendra Modi with Saudi Arabian crown prince and prime minister Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at the latter’s ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, India, on Monday, September 11, 2023. (ANI Photo/Sanjay Sharma)
INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi met Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and prime minister Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud on Monday (11) on the occasion of the latter’s state visit to the south Asian nation and discussed with him issues such as trade, economy, defence and cultural cooperation.
At a high-profile meeting at Delhi’s Hyderabad House, the two duo co-chaired the first leaders’ meeting of the Strategic Partnership Council, a bilateral agreement between New Delhi and Riyadh inked by the two sides in the Saudi capital in 2019.
“For India, Saudi Arabia counts as one of its closest and biggest strategic partners,” Modi said.
“India-Saudi Arabia partnership crucial for stability, welfare of region and world.”
Bin Salman’s state visit to India took place in the wake of the two-day G20 summit in New Delhi where top leaders from across the world were present. The summit proved to be a thumping success as per experts after negotiators worked hard to reach consensus over the Delhi Declaration.
“We are adding a new dimension to our ties in tune with changing times. We have identified several initiatives to take our close partnership to the next level,” Modi added.
The two Asian leaders assessed the progress of the two ministerial committees of the council, namely the Political, Security, Social and Cultural Cooperation Committee and the Economy and the Investments Cooperation Committee.
Modi and bin Salman also spoke about bilateral ties between the two countries, including political, security, defence, culture and people-to-people, among others.
They also discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Earlier in the day, the Saudi crown prince was given a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan, which is the official residence of the president of India who is the country’s constitutional head, around 11 am. He was received by president Droupadi Murmu and Modi.
“I am very glad to be here in India. I want to congratulate India for the G20 Summit,” the guest leader, who also attended the G20 summit, said.
He was set to meet Murmu on Monday evening before departing from New Delhi.
This is the crown prince’s second state visit to India.
Saudi Arabia was one of the signatories of the ambitious India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor at the G20 summit and the initiative was seen by many as a potential alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. It was announced jointly by Modi and the leaders of Saudi, the US, the UAE, France, Germany, Italy and the European Union on the sidelines of the summit that concluded on Sunday (10).