New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded his visit to Saudi Arabia during which he held extensive talks with the top Saudi leadership and addressed a key financial forum. India and Saudi Arabia both reiterated their categorical rejection of all forms of interference in the internal affairs of other countries and called upon the international community to fulfil its responsibilities towards preventing any attacks on the sovereignty of nations.

 

PM Modi held wide-ranging talks with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, during which a Strategic Partnership Council was established to coordinate on important issues.

“The two sides stressed that extremism and terrorism threaten all nations and societies. They rejected any attempt to link this universal phenomenon to any particular race, religion or culture. Both sides expressed their rejection of all terrorist acts and stressed the need to prevent access to weapons including missiles and drones to commit terrorist acts against other countries,” according to the India-Saudi joint statement published by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

A memorandum of understanding was also signed to roll out RuPay card in the Kingdom — making Saudi Arabia the third country in the Persian Gulf after the UAE and Bahrain to introduce India’s digital payment system.

Prime Minister Modi also delivered a keynote address at the high-profile Future Investment Initiative (FII), dubbed as ‘Davos in the desert’, where he pressed for the United Nations reforms while expressing regret over some “powerful” countries using the global body as a “tool” rather than an “institution” to resolve conflicts.

India will invest a $100 billion in oil and gas infrastructure to meet the energy needs of an economy that is being targeted to nearly double in five years. He also sought investment from the oil-rich Saudi Arabia and other nations to boost supplies.

This was PM Modi’s second visit to the country. During his first visit, King Salman conferred Saudi’s highest civilian award on him. The Crown Prince visited India in February 2019, giving a further fillip to the bilateral ties.

(With Agency Inputs)