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PM Modi, Saudi Crown Prince discuss health, other issues

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held the first Leaders’ Meeting of the Strategic Partnership Council in Delhi on Monday.

The two leaders discussed various areas of bilateral cooperation, including energy security, trade and investment, defence and security, healthcare, food security, among others, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi wrote on X.

The Saudi Crown Prince is on a second state visit to India since February 2019. He arrived in Delhi on September 8 for the G20 Summit. However, he extended his stay for the bilateral talks with PM Modi.

The Prime Minister said he had “productive talks” with the Saudi Crown Prince. Both leaders discussed trade ties and the “immense” scope for bilateral cooperation in areas, including grid connectivity, renewable energy, food security and semiconductors.

“His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and I had very productive talks. We reviewed our trade ties and are confident that the commercial linkages between our nations will grow even further in the times to come. The scope for cooperation in grid connectivity, renewable energy, food security, semiconductors and supply chains is immense,” he wrote on X.

This morning, the Saudi leader arrived at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and was accorded a ceremonial welcome, as per the tradition when any foreign leader visits the presidential complex. He was welcomed by President Droupadi Murmu, PM Modi and other ministers at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

In his remarks, the Saudi Crown Prince congratulated India for successfully hosting the G20 Summit.

“I am very glad to be here in India. A lot of announcements have been made that will benefit G20 countries and the world. We will work together to create a great future for both countries,” he said.

He then met PM Modi at the Hyderabad House, a venue synonymous with diplomacy and the deepening of ties with various nations.

The Saudi Crown Prince is accompanied by a high-level delegation, including ministers and senior officials.

Later in the evening, the Saudi Crown Prince will be received by President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan, providing a platform for a dialogue that reaffirms mutual interests and discussions on regional and international matters that concern both countries.

The Saudi Crown Prince’s visit comes on the back of a notable milestone in economic cooperation, with bilateral trade reaching an all-time high of $52.75 billion in the fiscal year 2022-23. India and Saudi Arabia hold prominent positions as trading partners for each other, with Riyadh being New Delhi’s fourth-largest trading partner and vice versa.

Furthermore, against the backdrop of the G20 Summit, Saudi Arabia partnered with several countries, including India, to launch a substantial railway and port project, aiming to streamline the flow of commerce, energy and data from India across the Middle East to Europe.

What is India-Saudi strategic partnership council?
The India-Saudi Strategic Partnership Council was established during PM Modi’s visit to Saudi Arabia in October 2019 as a mechanism to streamline and strengthen bilateral ties across diverse domains.

The council operates through two ministerial committees focussed on political, security, social and cultural cooperation, and economic and investment cooperation, providing a structured framework to foster deeper collaboration and understanding between the two countries.

The first Leaders’ Meeting of the council, co-chaired by PM Modi and the Saudi Crown Prince during this visit, signifies a commitment to nurturing this partnership to new heights, encompassing a wide array of bilateral concerns and opportunities for collaborative endeavours. India Today

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