New Delhi: India and Saudi Arabia have agreed that stronger bilateral cooperation in areas such as counter-terrorism, maritime security and cyber security will be beneficial for both countries.
Saudi Arabia and India have shared thoughts on need to increase all possible pressure on countries supporting any type of terrorism.
The two leaders discussed the brutal terrorist attack in Pulwama last week
This was underscored in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Press statement during state visit of Mohammed Bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia to India on Wednesday, 20 February 2019.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Statement:
“I am very happy to welcome Royal Highness and his delegation on their first state visit to India.
The economic, social and cultural relations of India and Saudi Arabia are centuries old. And it has always been cordial and full of friendship. The close contact between our people is a living bridge for our countries. Your Majesty and Royal Highness, your personal interest and guidance have brought more intensity, depth and strength in our bilateral relations.
Today, in the 21st century, Saudi Arabia is among India’s most valuable strategic partners. Saudi Arabia is in our neighborhood and is a close friend and also an important source of India’s energy security. During my visit to Saudi Arabia in 2016, we had given many new dimensions to our relations, especially in the areas of energy and security. As a result of the meeting we had in Argentina two months ago, the essence of our strategic partnership has expanded in the areas of security, trade and investment. I am happy that as per your suggestion, we have agreed to establish the Biennial Summit and Strategic Partnership Council. This would provide strength, speed and progress to our bilateral relations.
Today, we have made extensive and meaningful discussions on all subjects of bilateral relations. We have decided to take our economic cooperation to new heights. In order to facilitate institutional investment from Saudi Arabia in our economy, we have agreed to establish a framework. I welcome investment by Saudi Arabia in India’s infrastructure sector.
Your Royal Highness,
Your ‘Vision 2030’ and the economic reforms being under your leadership are complementary to India’s major programs such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Start-Up India’. It’s time to turn our energy relations into a strategic partnership. Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the world’s largest refinery and strategic petroleum reserves leads our energy relations far beyond the buyer-seller relationship. We have agreed to strengthen our cooperation in areas of renewable energy. We welcome Saudi Arabia in the International Solar Alliance. The peaceful use of atomic energy, especially for water desalination and health, will be another dimension of our cooperation. Especially in the context of our strategic environment, we have also successfully discussed the strengthening and expanding mutual defense cooperation. Last year, India was the ‘Guest of Honor’ at the prestigious Janradiala ceremony in Saudi Arabia. Today we have the goal of strengthening our cultural ties. E-Visas for the citizens of Saudi Arabia are being expanded to increase trade and tourism. We are grateful to His Majesty and Royal Highness for the growth of the Haj quota for Indians.
Peaceful and useful presence of 2.7 million Indian nationals in Saudi Arabia is an important link between us. Royal Highness has praised their positive contribution in the progress of Saudi Arabia. You have always taken care of their well-being. Their gratitude and prayers are with you.
The brutal terrorist attack in Pulwama last week is a cruel reminder of the threat to humanity that looms large across the globe. In order to deal effectively with this threat, we agree that there is a need to increase all possible pressure on countries supporting any type of terrorism. Destroying the network of terror, punishing terrorists and their supporters is very important. At the same time, there is a strong action plan for cooperation against extremism so that violence and terror cannot mislead our youth. I am glad that Saudi Arabia and India have shared thoughts on this.
Our two countries have common interests in ensuring peace and stability in West Asia and the Gulf. In our talks today, it has been agreed to co-ordinate efforts in this direction and to speed up joint participation. We have also agreed that stronger bilateral cooperation in areas such as counter terrorism, maritime security and cyber security will be beneficial for both countries.
Your Royal Highness,
Your journey has given a new dimension to the rapid development of our relationships. I once again thank the Royal Highness for accepting our invitation. I also wish him and all members of the delegation to enjoy a pleasant stay in India.”