HomeIndiaJaishankar met Saudi Crown Prince, handed over PM's message

Jaishankar met Saudi Crown Prince, handed over PM’s message

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Saudi Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah on Sunday and handed over a written message from the Prime Minister. Narendra Modi and apprised them of progress in bilateral relations, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

During the meeting, bilateral relations and opportunities to enhance them were reviewed and the latest regional and international developments were discussed, the agency said.

“Honoured to meet HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman… Hearty congratulations to PM @narendramodi ji. Apprised him of the progress made in our bilateral relations. Thank you for sharing your vision of our relationship. ,” Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting.

Describing Saudi Arabia as an “important player” in today’s global economy, not only because of its impressive growth numbers, but also because of its central position in energy markets, Jaishankar told the Jeddah-based English daily ‘Saudi Gazette’ that the Gulf country One is an important economic partner for India. “Energy is really one of the important areas in our bilateral cooperation,” he said. “In addition to our traditional trade in energy, the two countries are now cooperating in the field of new and renewable energy. The Joint Working Group on Energy has identified 19 project opportunities for collaboration, including investment in LNG infrastructure and a number of renewable energy projects, human capacity building and joint research.

Jaishankar said there are many areas where India and Saudi Arabia can collaborate to help achieve the latter’s ‘Vision 2030’.

“The Strategic Partnership Council (SPC) is central to taking forward this cooperation as it provides an institutional mechanism to ensure the regular and sustained progress of bilateral relations,” he said. “Under Vision 2030, the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia] has set ambitious targets that require extensive economic cooperation. The Kingdom can certainly benefit from India’s growing economy, not only through two-way investments, but also because of India’s skilled manpower.

“Such cooperation is reflected in the increased engagement with all six GCC countries over the years. Defense and security cooperation has increased significantly in recent times, particularly with Saudi Arabia, with the first bilateral naval exercise “Al Mohammed Al Hindi” being held in August 2021. Both the countries can certainly enhance such cooperation to fulfill many. India’s regional initiatives, such as Sagar (Security and Growth for All in the Region),” he said.

“A major reason for this expansion is the emerging regional situation, for example, our defense cooperation, especially in the naval sector, has gradually strengthened over the years, leading to the first bilateral naval exercise in August 2021. In the economic sphere also, our bilateral trade stood at USD 42.86 billion last year, reflecting the growing inter-relationship between our two economies,” Jaishankar said.

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