India, Saudi Arabia to sign Strategic Partnership Council pact.

The signing of the agreement on the Strategic Partnership Council by India and Saudi Arabia would strengthen the already robust relations between the two countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the two countries have been working together within the G20 to reduce inequality and promote sustainable development. Saying stable oil prices are crucial for the growth of the global economy, he praised the Kingdom's role as an important and reliable source of India's energy requirements.


Prime Minister said, Neighbourhood First continues to be the guiding vision for my government's foreign policy. India's relations with Saudi Arabia are one of the most important bilateral relationships in our extended neighbourhood. On the agreement on Strategic Partnership Council, he said, will begin a new era of cooperation across sectors. Our ties across various dimensions such as trade, investment, security and defence cooperation are robust and deep, and will only strengthen further.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India and Saudi Arabia have a Joint Committee on Defence Cooperation that holds regular meetings and that the two nations have identified a number of areas of mutual interest and cooperation in the field of defence and security. We are also in the process of entering into agreements on security cooperation, collaboration in defence industries, and also agreed to hold a comprehensive security dialogue mechanism between the two countries, he said.

On his outlook on the current global economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, The global economic outlook is strongly dependent on the path chartered by the large developing countries such as India. As I mentioned in my speech at the UN General Assembly in September, we sincerely believe that we need collective efforts, for the growth of all, with everyone's trust.

On the long term energy relation with Saudi Arabia, which is the largest Oil supplier to India, he said, India imports around 18 percent of its crude oil from the Kingdom, making it the second-largest source of crude oil for us. From a purely buyer-seller relationship, we are now moving toward a closer strategic partnership that will include Saudi investments in downstream oil and gas projects.

Prime Minister Modi's visit is expected to further strengthen and expand bilateral ties in various areas such as security and strategic cooperation, defence, energy security, renewable energy, investments, trade and commerce, small and medium enterprises, agriculture, civil aviation, infrastructure, housing, financial services, training and capacity building, culture and people-to-people engagement. Nearly a dozen government-to-government agreements related to these areas are expected to be signed, as well as several government-to-business agreements.

Energy security is one of the prime areas of India's engagement with Saudi Arabia. New Delhi appreciates the Kingdom's vital role as a reliable source for India's long-term energy supplies; the Kingdom supplies 18 percent of India's crude oil requirements and 30 percent of its liquefied petroleum gas needs. Both countries are keen to transform the buyer-seller relationship in this sector into a much broader strategic partnership based on mutual complementarity and interdependence.

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