India and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday inked 12 deals including the Strategic Partnership Council Agreement to elevate their ties to the next level.
The two countries signed deals including in energy and security cooperation and defence production, after bilateral talks between visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh.
The other agreements between the two sides, inked by their respective officials, were on cooperation in the field of renewable energy, on security cooperation, on combating illicit trafficking and smuggling of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and chemical precursors and in the field of defence – on collaboration in military acquisition, industries, research, development and technology.
“In a significant upgradation of the strategic partnership, [email protected] and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sign the Strategic Partnership Council Agreement,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
Earlier, the two leaders held bilateral talks.
“Sustaining the momentum of regular high-level contacts [email protected] held fruitful discussions with Crown Prince HRH Mohammed bin Salman, a close friend of India, on adding greater dynamism and depth to the bilateral strategic partnership,” the spokesperson tweeted.
Another MoU was on collaboration in civil aviation, in medical products regulations, a Letter of Intent between Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monshaat) of the Saudi Arabia and Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog,A a cooperation Programme between the Foreign Service Institute, and Prince Saud Al Faisal Institute of Diplomatic Studies (IDS).
Another agreement was between Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited (ISPRL) and Saudi Aramco.
Both sides inked an MoU for Cooperation between National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), and another between National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Saudi Payments.
Earlier on Tuesday, PM Modi and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and agreed to step up bilateral security cooperation.
They also discussed cooperation in agriculture, oil and gas, maritime security, innovative technology, renewable energy, trade and investment between the two countries during their talks.
India, the world’s third-largest oil consumer, imports 83 per cent of its oil needs. Saudi Arabia is its second-biggest supplier after Iraq. It sold 40.33 million tonnes of crude oil to India in 2018-19 fiscal, when the country had imported 207.3 million tonnes of oil
India, the 6th largest economy in the world and the 3rd largest energy consumer after the US and China, buys some 200,000 tonnes of LPG every month from Saudi Arabia
PM Modi also attended the third session of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Forum in Riyadh, where he invited Saudi firms to invest in India.
The bilateral meet comes amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan. Saudi Arabia, which shares a good relation with Pakistan, is a close ally of India as well. In February, Saudi Crown Prince had visited both India and Pakistan after the Pulwama attack.