External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday met with the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud in Jeddah and apprised him of the bilateral ties between the two countries. In a tweet, Jaishankar wrote, “Honoured to call on HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah this evening. Conveyed the warm greetings of PM @narendramodi. Apprised him of the progress in our bilateral relations. Thank him for sharing his vision of our ties.”
Earlier, in the day, Jaishankar met with the Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and co-chaired the Political, Security, Social and Cultural (PSSC) committee of the India-Saudi Partnership Council. “Warm and productive meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister HH Prince @FaisalbinFarhan this afternoon. Co-chaired the Political, Security, Social and Cultural Committee of the India-Saudi Partnership Council,” Jaishankar tweeted.
Jaishankar arrived on a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia starting Saturday, his first trip to the Kingdom as India’s External Affairs Minister. “The two Ministers will undertake a comprehensive review of the entire bilateral relationship and will discuss the progress under the four Joint Working Groups of the PSSC Committee, namely Political & Consular; Legal and Security; Social and Cultural and Joint Committee on Defence Cooperation,” the MEA had said earlier.
The meetings of these Groups and Senior Officials (at the Secretary level) have been held over the past few months, the release added. “Both sides will also discuss regional and international issues of mutual interest including their cooperation at the United Nations, Group of Twenty (G20) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC),” the MEA said.
During the visit, Jaishankar will also meet other Saudi dignitaries as well as the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf. Both sides will review the bilateral relations and discuss ways to enhance them. The minister will also interact with the Indian community in Saudi Arabia.
India-Saudi Arabia relations have strengthened considerably over the past few years including in political, security, energy, trade, investment, health, food security, cultural and defence fields. The top leadership of both countries remained in close touch even during the Covid-19 pandemic.