On September 11, 2023, PM Narendra Modi said that the India-Saudi Arabia partnership is crucial for the stability and welfare of the region and the world.
The Indian Prime Minister at the India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council meeting said “We are adding a new dimension to our ties in tune with changing times. For India, Saudi Arabia is one of our most important partners.”
During a meeting with the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Bin Salman at the famous Hyderabad House, PM Modi said “We have identified several initiatives to take close partnership to the next level. Saudi Arabia is important for India. I once again thank His Royal Highness for the contribution to the success of the G20 Summit.
Remarks of the Saudi Crown Prince
On September 8, 2023, the Saudi Crown Prince arrived at New Delhi for a three-day visit and stayed back for his state visit. Mohammed Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said “There was no disagreement at all during the history of this (India-Saudi Arabia) relationship, but there is no cooperation to build the future of the country and create opportunities. Today we are working on future opportunities.”
He further said, “I congratulate you on the successful management of the G20 Summit and the initiatives achieved including the New Economic Corridor linking West Asia (Middle East), India and Europe which requires that we work diligently in order to create it into reality.”
Response from the MEA
Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs tweeted “Transforming India -Saudi Arabia ties! PM Modi and the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, HRH Mohammed Bin Salman held bilateral talks. The two leaders reviewed many facets of the bilateral relationship and discussed further ways to unlock the potential of the India- Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership.”
“Agenda included a broad range of bilateral cooperation including energy security, trade and investment, defence, food security, culture and community welfare issues among others,” MEA tweeted.
Key Highlights of the State Visit
Before he met with PM Modi the Crown Prince received a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi at 10 AM. Following his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Hyderabad House, the Crown prince will sign the minutes of the first meeting of the India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council at the same venue around 12 noon.
After the conclusion of the above engagements, the Crown Prince will meet the President of India, Droupadi Murmu at the Rashtrapati Bhawan at 6:30 PM and then will depart from New Delhi and travel back to Saudi Arabia.
India-Saudi Arabia Relations
Saudi Arabia holds a crucial position as one of India’s primary and strategic allies in West Asia ( formerly known as the Middle East in world politics). In recent years, the visits of PM Modi to Saudi Arabia initially in 2016 and in 2019 as well as the visits of Mohammad bin Salman to India in 2019 played a significant role in strengthening the ties between the two nations.
Both countries have also prioritized enhancing their defence and security cooperation. In December 2020, Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, who was the Chief of Staff at that time made a historic visit to Saudi Arabia marking the first-ever visit by the head of the 1.3 million-strong Indian Army to this significant Gulf Nation. Subsequently, there have been multiple visits by senior military officials from both sides.
Media Oasis Event
Moreover, Saudi Arabia hosted a three-day event in conjunction with the G20 Leaders’ Summit to provide an immersive and interactive experience of the Kingdom’s projects in various fields The event was titled Media Oasis and it was initiated on September 9, 2023, and concluded on September 11, 2023.
The event aims to provide an immersive and interactive experience of Saudi Arabia’s leading projects in the sectors of tourism, entertainment, culture, technology, and sports. The theme of the exhibit is titled Vision 2030 an initiative by Saudi Arabia aimed towards the diversification of the country socially, culturally, and economically.
The event has been organised by the Saudi Ministry of Media and it shows the initiatives made by the Saudi Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Sports, Red Sea Global, FII, Royal Institute of Traditional Arts Konoz, and CGC. Moreover, India and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial and friendly relations reflecting the centuries-old economic and socio-cultural ties. The establishment of diplomatic relations in 1947 was followed by high-level visits from both sides.