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International Relations

High-profile meet:Narendra Modi with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Riyadh.ANI  

India and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday condemned the recent drone attacks on the Aramco petroleum processing facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais in eastern Saudi Arabia.

In a joint statement issued at the end of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, both sides also condemned terrorism in all forms and stated that no particular religion, race or culture should be linked with international terrorism.

An announcement by the Ministry of External Affairs declared that both sides sealed 12 MoUs on issues such as preventing narcotics trafficking, renewable energy, training of diplomats, defence industry production, security collaboration, and the use of RuPay cards in Saudi Arabia.

The MEA’s Secretary in charge of Economic Relations, T.S. Tirumurti said that the discussion also considered possibilities of increasing Indian investments in Saudi Arabia. India, he said, has not ‘pledged’ any amount for Saudi Arabia, but there is a chance of greater private investment from India to Saudi Arabia.

India also cleared an MoU that will help Haj pilgrims to travel comfortably in Saudi Arabia during the pilgrimage seasons.

Prime Minister Modi who reached Riyadh late on Monday evening, held a series of consultations with Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, Minister of Energy, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Foreign Affairs and with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

During an interaction at the trade summit, Mr. Modi also pushed for greater respect for international laws and conventions and urged for reform of the UN Security Council.

“Some countries have become too big and don’t want to obey rules. But I think they have to respect and conduct themselves according to the global rules,” he said.

Both sides discussed a number of regional conflicts like the war in Syria and Yemen and sought lasting peace in the Palestinian territories for the establishment of the independent Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders with “Jerusalem as its capital.”

On the sidelines of the summit, Mr. Modi met King Abdullah II of Jordan.

“Both leaders exchanged views on working closely together to strengthen our ties across sectors, especially in trade & investment, human resource development & people-to-people ties,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

The two leaders met last month on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York.

Mr. Modi had met King Abdullah for the first time on the sidelines of the UNGA in September 2015. This was followed by a visit by the then president Pranab Mukherjee to Jordan in October 2015.

(With PTI inputs)

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