PM Narendra Modi in Saudi Arabia: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said India and Saudi Arabia are two Asian powers. Speaking to Arab News in Riyadh, the Prime Minister said the two nations share similar security concerns in their neighbourhood and he is happy that the India-Saudi cooperation, particularly in the field of counter-terrorism, security and strategic issues, is progressing very well.

The Prime Minister embarked on a two-day visit to the Kingdom at the invitation of Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to boost ties between the two countries in key sectors including energy and finance. The PM will hold talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, launch the RuPay card, attend the third plenary session of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Forum in Riyadh and meet a few Saudi ministers today. Apart from that, separate delegation-level talks will also be held with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

Speaking about the growing ties between India and Saudi Arabia in the energy sector, the PM said India values KSA’s vital role as an important and reliable source of New Delhi’s energy requirements and believes stable oil prices are crucial for the growth of the global economy, particularly in developing countries.

In the interview to Arab News, Modi said India imports around 18% of its crude oil from Saudi Arabia, making it the second-largest source of crude oil for the country. Now, New Delhi is moving towards a closer strategic partnership that will include Saudi investments in downstream oil and gas projects, he said. India is also looking forward to the participation of Saudi Aramco in India’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves as Aramco is participating in a major refinery and petrochemical project on India’s west coast, the PM added.

The PM also expressed his happiness that Saudi Arabia will be hosting the G20 Summit in 2020 while India will host it in 2022, the year the country will mark 75th anniversary of independence. Speaking about India and Saudi Arabia’s contribution, Modi said within G20, the two countries have been working together to reduce inequality and promote sustainable development.

PM Modi’s second visit to Saudi Arabia will strengthen bilateral relations and bind the two nations in an even stronger strategic partnership, Indian envoy Dr Ausaf Sayeed, India’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said.

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