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Telephonic Conversation between the Prime Minister of India and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia: Towards Deeper Bilateral Ties and World Peace

On December 26, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi held a telephonic conversation with the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The primary motive of the official call was to review the progress of the bilateral strategic partnership between the two nations following the visit of the crown prince to India in September 2023. The two leaders also discussed the forward-looking bilateral partnership of the two nations for the future and outlined a map for possible collaborations.

Previous High-level Meetings:

There have been several high-level exchanges between officials of the two countries previously. Prince Mohammed visited India from September 9–11 with the aim of attending the G20 summit and also for an official state visit. He had met PM Modi, and the two leaders had held the first leaders’ meeting of the Strategic Partnership Council. They had reviewed the progress made by the ministerial committees of both countries in the Strategic Partnership Council, namely the Committee on Political, Security, Social and Cultural Cooperation and the Committee on Economy and Investments Cooperation. There was also a fruitful discussion on various issues of bilateral interest like trade and economic, political, security, defense, cultural, and people-to-people ties. The two leaders had also held discussions on several matters of regional and international interest. The Strategic Partnership Council was established in October 2019 after a highly successful meeting between PM Modi and the Crown Prince during the former’s visit to Saudi Arabia. Prince Mohammed had also visited India for an official state visit in February 2019, making 2023 his second visit to the country.

India and Saudi Arabia have had historic ties with each other, maintaining friendly relations due to their deep people-to-people contacts. The trade between the two countries was as high as USD 52.75 billion in the financial year 2022–23. Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth-largest trading partner, while India is its second-largest. Both India and Saudi Arabia also have an impressive partnership in the area of energy. Furthermore, there are around 2.4 million Indians residing in Saudi Arabia. They have played a huge role in contributing to the latter’s economy and bridging the cultural gap between the two countries. Their participation, as such, has deepened ties between the two countries. Additionally, keeping in mind the common roots of the citizens of both countries, Saudi Arabia also facilitates around 175,000 Indians in their annual Haj pilgrimage.

Regular conversations and official exchanges would ensure that these cultural and political ties are maintained. During the telephonic conversation, PM Narendra Modi and Prince Mohammed reiterated their commitment to work towards peace, stability, maritime security, and free navigation in neighboring areas. There will be continued correspondence between the two nations in the days to come.