New Delhi: – Saudi Arabian National Day was celebrated in its embassy in New Delhi. Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval made it a point to attend the function. The presence of the Indian Foreign Minister and NSA underlines the increasing cooperation and the strengthening ties between India and Saudi Arabia. While the relations between Saudi and Pakistan are strained, these developments between India and Saudi become significant. Only a few days ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi King Salman had a telephonic discussion.
Saudi celebrated its 90th National Day on Wednesday. The Saudi embassy had organised a special function to mark this occasion. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, NSA Ajit Doval and Minorities Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi attended the program. This is the second instance of the country’s ministers visiting the embassy of a foreign country to attend National Day. Before this, former Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj had attended the Russian National Day in 2018.
Dr Saud Bin Mohammed Al Sati, the Saudi Ambassador to India. said ‘India is a close friend and a strategic partner of Saudi Arabia.’ Sati said at this time that the economic and social relations between Saudi and India are based on equal respect and mutual interests. Saudi is the fourth largest trading partner of India. Saying that India imports 18% of the total crude oil imports from Saudi, Sati underlined the importance of Saudi-India relations. Sati said that Saudi investments in India are growing.
The bilateral trade between India and Saudi is USD 34 billion. Both countries are focusing on increasing this trade. In 2019, Saudi King Salman had visited India. Thereafter, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Saudi. It is said that the relations between the two countries started strengthening further since then. On Wednesday, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar wished the Saudi Foreign Minister on the occasion of the Saudi National Day. Foreign Minister Jaishankar also expressed confidence that the relations between India and Saudi will strengthen in all the sectors.
A few days ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud held telephonic discussions. All the details of the discussions had not been revealed. But Saudi-Pakistan tension had already been created before this. Saudi had refused to raise the Jammu-Kashmir issue in the OIC meeting. Thereafter, Pakistan had indicated forming a separate group of Islamic countries, opposing Saudi. Therefore, Saudi is upset with Pakistan, and against this background, the strengthening India-Saudi relations become noteworthy.