Robust security cooperation between Saudi Arabia and India: Envoy

New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) Saudi Arabia and India are cooperating closely in “countering the menace of terrorism” and the “robust security cooperation” between the two countries is “important not only for us but also for the entire region and beyond,” the Saudi envoy here has said.

In a message on the occasion of the 86th anniversary of the National Day of Saudi Arabia Thursday. Dr. Saud Al-Sati, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to India, said the continued growth and expansion in the multifaceted relations between Saudi Arabia and India was one of the highlights of the Kingdom’s international relations.

“The two countries are strategic partners, and among the top trading partners for each other. We have extensive socio-economic relations, both as nations and as peoples. Saudi Arabia remains a major pillar for India’s energy security,” he stated.

“The economic partnership in the fields of investment, joint ventures and transfer of technology projects is steadily growing. Major Saudi and Indian companies are present in each other’s market. In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the exchange of visits between the senior officials of the two countries as well as between industry and business leaders… leading to an increase in investments from both sides.”

The envoy pointed out that Saudi Arabia hosts over three million Indian nationals who contribute to the progress and development of both the Kingdom and India and are serving as an important cultural bridge between the two peoples.

“Haj and Umra pilgrimage is another important component of the people-to-people contacts. The air traffic between the two countries is estimated to be around four million passengers per year. In 2015, more than 70,000 Saudi citizens visited India for various purposes, which is a record,” he said.

“Saudi Arabia and India are partners in promoting peace, stability and security in the region. We are closely cooperating in countering the menace of terrorism, including through exchange of information and intelligence. The robust security cooperation between the two countries is important not only for us but also for the entire region and beyond,” he said.

He said the two countries also have close defence ties. “Officers from both countries have been attending courses so that we can learn from each other’s experience and share wisdom. There have been frequent goodwill visits by Indian Navy ships to the ports of Jeddah and Jubail.”

He said the vist in April this year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia “has significantly contributed to further consolidation and deepening of the strategic partnership, expanding the excellent bilateral relations in various political, economic, security, cultural and technological fields.”

–IANS

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