New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday (September 20) held important discussions with visiting Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud here. Both the leaders focused attention on the situation in Afghanistan.
"Prime Minister expressed India's keenness to see greater investment from Saudi Arabia, including in key sectors like energy, IT and defence manufacturing," an MEA release said.
The meeting also allowed an exchange of perspectives on regional developments, including the situation in Afghanistan. The visiting dignitary was on a three-day visit to India since September 18. The Indian government has been in touch with the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Iran regimes over the fast-changing situations in Afghanistan.
The visiting minister has held bilateral talks with External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Sunday.
During the meeting with the Prime Minister on Monday, both countries reviewed progress on various ongoing bilateral initiatives, including those taken under the aegis of the Strategic Partnership Council established between India and Saudi Arabia.
Mr Modi conveyed his special thanks and appreciation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for looking after the welfare of the Indian diaspora during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Prime Minister also conveyed his warm greetings and regards to His Majesty, the King and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.
This was the first ministerial visit from Saudi Arabia to India since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During their meeting, Dr Jaishankar and the Saudi counterpart discussed all issues related to their bilateral relationship and regional and international issues of mutual interest. Both Ministers exchanged views on the developments in Afghanistan and other regional issues, MEA release said, adding, they also discussed bilateral cooperation in multilateral forums such as UN and G-20.
Dr Jaishankar congratulated Saudi Arabia on its successful Presidency of G-20 last year, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the MEA said.
In his SCO address on Friday, Prime Minister Modi said that the global community should decide collectively and "thoughtfully" according to recognition to the new set-up in Afghanistan vis-à-vis acceptability as the new regime in Kabul was not "inclusive".
The visit by the Saudi foreign minister also coincided with India's growing engagement with all leading powers in the region. Saudi Arabia's position on the developments in Kabul certain has a significance of its own.