India, Saudi Arabia to launch Strategic Partnership Council.

India and Saudi Arabia will launch a mechanism for coordinated decisions regarding strategically important issues, sources said on Monday. The announcement came a day before the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman arrives here as part of his tour of Asia, where he chose Pakistan as his first destination.


“India and Saudi Arabia have a strong independent strategic partnership and it will be further strengthened with the launching of the Strategic Partnership Council that will cover critical areas of mutual interest,” said a source. The Ministry of External Affairs, NITI Aayog and other government agencies are expected to be the constituent units of this council.

The visit has acquired greater attention here as Prince Mohammed Bin Salman declared himself an “ambassador of Pakistan” during his Islamabad visit. The Prince is coming to India on his first state visit.

One of the Saudi investments in Pakistan’s Gwadar port has also drawn attention here as it is a part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, of which India disapproves. Regarding the investment, the official said stakeholders in this case are aware of India’s objections.

The Pakistan visit by Prince Mohammed brought investment of $20 billion, even as India had begun to campaign for international isolation of the country after the Pulwama attack. But the official said Pakistan should be worried about its economic condition. “Saudi investment to India is not a bailout for the Indian economy,” said the official, contrasting the coming India-Saudi agreements with the Gulf country’s investment in Pakistan.

The official said Saudi Arabia has displayed greater appreciation of India’s concerns regarding cross-border terrorism as recently seen in the Pulwama attack. “The Saudi understanding of terrorism has evolved and they have a far better understanding of terrorism in Kashmir. They are aware of the bilateral nature of the issue,” said the official.(Source: The Hindu)

Current Affairs Home