India and Saudi Arabia: Ties deepening, expanding, says Saudi envoy


NEW DELHI: India and Saudi Arabia are expanding their security and defence partnership and both nations recently conducted a maiden joint naval exercise to enhance maritime security, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to India Saud Mohammed Al-Sati told ET.

“This decade has witnessed a remarkable stride in the relations between Saudi Arabia and India. Today, our ties are strong, and our strategic partnership is deepening. From energy cooperation, security and defence, burgeoning trade relations to health cooperation, the nature of this relationship has diversified immensely allowing for expanded growth…,” Al Sati told ET in an exclusive interview close on the heels of the naval exercise and G20 summit which saw Delhi and Riyadh working together. “The Strategic Partnership Council was a landmark move which would solidify ties and boost cooperation between both nations with security and defence being some of the key sectors. In the recent past, both nations have conducted inaugural joint naval exercises in a bid to enhance their maritime security,” he said.

The Saudi envoy, who has played a key role in pushing bilateral ties over the past decade, recalled that both countries have displayed the significance of the partnership on multiple occasions. The state visit of Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, to India in February 2019 paved “the way for a momentous future,” he said.

“A Strategic Partnership Council between the two countries, led by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of India, supported by ministerial committees covering the entire spectrum of strategic relationships was announced during the visit.” Similarly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Saudi Arabia in October 2019 was marked with momentous developments, such as the signing of the agreement on the Strategic Partnership Council between Saudi Arabia and India, he added.

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