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India, Saudi Arabia sign 12 MoUs; establish highest-level Strategic Partnership Council

India and Saudi Arabia have signed an agreement to set up a highest-level Strategic Partnership Council. 

Oct 30, 2019 16:27 IST
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India and Saudi Arabia have signed 12 MoUs in several areas including security cooperation, energy, civil aviation, defence, launch of RuPAY cards and regulation of medical products and released a joint statement during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

PM Narendra Modi paid an official state visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on October 29, 2019 at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. During the visit, both the leaders reviewed the historical relations between India and Saudi Arabia and exchanged views on the regional and international issues of mutual interest.

The two leaders, further, re-affirmed their commitment to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two nations, which was envisaged in the ‘Riyadh Declaration’ that was signed in March 2010. PM Narendra Modi also held bilateral discussions with Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

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Following the talks, 12 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between the two nations. The most significant agreement was signed to establish a Strategic Partnership Council to further strengthen the relations between India and Saudi Arabia and the founding document for the same was signed by the Crown Prince and PM Narendra Modi.

Strategic Partnership Council

The Strategic Partnership Council will be headed by PM Narendra Modi and King Salman of Saudi Arabia. The council has been established to enable smooth coordination between the two nations on significant issues. 

The setting up of the strategic council is significant, as Saudi Arabia is only the fourth nation with whom India shares such an inter-governmental mechanism, which is headed by the Prime Minister. Before Saudi Arabia, India only shares such high-level mechanism with Russia, Germany and Japan. 

Full list of MoUs

Sl.No

Name of Agreement/ MoUs

Indian Signatory

Saudi Arabian Signatory

1

Strategic Partnership Council Agreement

Prime Minister of India

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

2

MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Renewable Energy between Saudi Ministry of Energy and Ministry of New & Renewable Energy of India

Dr. Ausaf Sayeed,
Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia

HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud – Energy Minister

3

MoU on Security Cooperation

TS Tirumurti,
Secretary, Economic Relations (ER ), MEA

HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif Al Saud – Interior Minister

4

MoU for cooperation in combating illicit trafficking and smuggling of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and chemical precursors.

Dr. Ausaf Sayeed,
Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia

HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif Al Saud – Interior Minister

5

MoU between Saudi General Authority of Military Industries (GAMI) and Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence concerning collaboration in military acquisition, industries, research, development and technology

TS Tirumurti,
Secretary, Economic Relations (ER ), MEA

HE Ahmad Al-Ohali, Governor, General Authority of Military Industries.

6

MoU for cooperation in Civil Aviation

Dr. Ausaf Sayeed,
Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia

HE Abdulhadi Al-Mansouri, President, GACA

7

MoU between Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and Saudi Food & Drug Authority (SFDA) for Cooperation in the field of medical products regulations

TS Tirumurti,
Secretary, Economic Relations (ER ), MEA

HE Dr Hisham Al Jadhey, CEO, SFDA

8

Letter of Intent between Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monshaat) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, of the Republic of India

Dr. Ausaf Sayeed,
Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia

Engineer Saleh Al-Rasheed, Governor, Small and Medium Development Authorities.

9

Cooperation Programme between Foreign Service Institute, MEA and Prince Saud Al Faisal Institute of Diplomatic Studies (IDS) of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia

Dr. Ausaf Sayeed,
Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia

Dr Abdallah Bin Hamad Al Salamah, Director-General, Prince Saud Al Faisal Institute for Diplomatic Studies

10

MoU between Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited (ISPRL) and Saudi Aramco.

HPS Ahuja,
CEO&MD, ISPRL

HE Ahmad Al-Subayae, Vice-President, ARAMCO

11

MoU for Cooperation between National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul)

Vikram Limaye,
MD & CEO, National Stock Exchange

Engineer Khaled Al-Hassan, CEO, Saudi Stock Exchange(Tadawul)

12

MoU between National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Saudi Payments

Arif Khan,
Chief Digital Officer, National Payments Corporation of India

Ziyad Al Yusuf, MD, Saudi Payment

Joint Statement: Key Highlights

Internal Affairs

The Indian PM and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince discussed various regional and global issues of mutual interest and reiterated their rejection of all forms of interference in the internal affairs of the nations. They also stressed on the need for the international community to play its part towards preventing attacks against the sovereignty of States.

Syria

In relation to the Syrian situation, the leaders highlighted the importance of preserving unity in Yemen, ensuring its stability and coming out with a political solution to solve the Yemeni crisis, based on the outcome of the  Yemeni National Dialogue, GCC initiative and the Security Council Resolution (2216).

Palestine

India and Saudi Arabia both stressed on the need for achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Palestine based on relevant UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative. The leaders expressed hope that the peace resolution will guarantee the rights of the people of Palestinian and lead to the establishment of their independent state based on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital.

Security of waterways

The two leaders agreed on the importance of bilateral engagement in promoting ways to secure the waterways in both the Indian Ocean region and the Gulf, from any threat that may endanger the interests of the two countries including their national security.

Terrorism

Stressing that terrorism and extremism threaten all nations and societies, the two sides rejected any attempt to link it to any particular religion, race or culture. They also rejected all acts of terrorism and highlighted the importance of preventing access to weapons such as drones and missiles to commit terrorist acts against other nations.

Trade ties

The two sides stressed on the importance of expanding trade and investment ties in order to advance strategic cooperation. While expressing satisfaction with the growth in bilateral trade in recent years, the leaders agreed to deepen bilateral trade and investment cooperation under Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

The leaders urged business communities in the two nations to utilize the investment potential in both the nations, especially in sectors such as mining, infrastructure, agriculture, skilled human resources and energy including renewable energy. 

At the end of the visit, PM Modi extended an invitation to King Salman to visit India to complete the consultations and further discuss matters of bilateral cooperation and regional and international issues of mutual interest. King Salman, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, welcomed the invitation. The Indian PM also expressed support to Saudi Arabia for its upcoming presidency of the G20 in 2020.

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