By Ahmed Khan, The Rahnuma Daily Editor-In-Chief (Online English Edition), @editor_therahnuma, firstname.lastname@example.org
RIYADH (RAHNUMA) Amid tension with Pakistan over abrogation of article 370 from Kashmir striping its special status, PM Modi reached Saudi Arabia today to take part in third annual “Future Investment Initiative (FII)” summit at Riyadh. The visit would impact on boosting economic ties between two nations as well as holding bilateral talk pragmatically on key issues concerning both the countries.
Talking to reporters on the sideline of Strategic Partnership Council meet, Modi said “with the signing of an agreement on a Strategic Partnership Council, the deep bilateral ties in various domains will strengthen further.
Emphasizing that stable oil prices are crucial for the growth of the global economy, he said the Kingdom’s role is as important and reliable aspect of India’s energy requirements. He asserted that, bilateral relations between India and Saudi Arabia will only grow stronger under the leadership of Mohammed Bin Salman, the crown prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Replying to a question he said, A “Neighborhood 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 neighborhood.
Talking about his visit this time he said, “Both the countries are going to sign an agreement on a Strategic Partnership Council, which will begin a new era of cooperation in various sectors such as trade, investment, security and defense cooperation. Our relations are robust and deep, and will only strengthen further with this visit,” he asserted.
On facing issue like terrorism, he said, “Asian powers like India and Saudi Arabia share similar security concerns in their neighborhood. Cooperation, especially in the field of counterterrorism, security and strategic issues, is moving ahead on a good scale.
PM Modi said, India shares excellent bilateral relations with all the countries in the region, and a very large Indian diaspora, numbering over 8 million, resides in the region. A dialogue process that encourages the participation of all stakeholders is important to bring peace and security to this very important region.
When asked about what constructive role India can play in reducing tensions in Middle East and West Asian regions, he replied that “we believe that a balanced approach is required to resolve the conflicts, while respecting the principles of sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s internal matters.
Ahead of the visit to Saudi Arabia, India had taken up Pakistan’s denial of use of its airspace to PM Modi’s flight with the ICAO.
On Sunday, Pakistan denied India’s request to allow Modi’s aircraft to move in its airspace for his visit to Riyadh. India made another request of overflight clearance to Pakistan for the visit on Monday, which was also denied by Islamabad on the pretext of alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.
The significant pacts that would ink between the two nations are about strengthening the economy, safest oil import, energy, terrorism, as well as boosting defense and security cooperation among two countries. Increasing the number of weekly and monthly direct flights between the countries along with augmented seating capacity would also be discus to benefit both the national carriers. Renewable energy, agriculture and small enterprises are among the other issues to be discussed during the meet.
Earlier on the day, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the Governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, said in his opening address the Future Investment Initiative has evolved from just an annual gathering to become a hub for building relationships.
Among the dignitaries expected during the event include King Abdullah of Jordan, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria while business leaders including Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries; Ahmed Khan, Editor In Chief, The Rahnuma Daily (therahnuma.com); Khaldoun Al-Mubarak, CEO of Mubadala Investment Group; and will Alain G. Bejjani, CEO of Majid Al-Futtaim will be joining plenaries during the opening sessions.
Ahmed Khan is the Editor-In-Chief & Publisher of The Rahnuma Daily (theRahnuma.com), the online English daily edition of The Rahnuma-E-Deccan Daily (ReDD), India’s oldest Urdu daily print newspaper. Established in 1921, ReDD is ranked by the INA (Indian Newspaper Association) as among the top five most widely circulated Urdu newspapers in India. Ahmed resides in Hyderabad at his maternal ancestral home with his uncle H.E. Mr. Syed Vicaruddin, Editor-In-Chief, Publisher, The Rahnuma-E-Deccan Daily. He can be contacted at, @editor_therahnuma, email@example.com