‘We share similar security concerns’, says Modi in Saudi Arabia
Riyadh, Oct 29: Modi on Tuesday said that India and Saudi Arabia share similar security concerns in their neighbourhood (in a reference to Pakistan). Speaking to Arab news, Modi said that the two countries have been working together within the G20 to reduce inequality and promote sustainable development.
In an interview to Arab News, Modi while speaking about long-term energy relationship said,''India imports around 18% of its crude oil from Saudi Arabia, making it the 2nd largest source of crude oil for us. We are now moving towards a closer strategic partnership that will include Saudi investments in downstream oil & gas projects.
''We value Kingdom's (Saudi Arabia) vital role as an important & reliable source of our energy requirements. We believe that stable oil prices are crucial for the growth of the global economy, particularly for developing countries,'' he further said.
He said,''Saudi Aramco is participating in a major refinery and petrochemical project on India's west coast. We are also looking forward to the participation of Aramco in India's Strategic Petroleum Reserves.''
''Within G20, India & Saudi Arabia have been working together to reduce inequality & promote sustainable development. I'm happy to note that Saudi Arabia will be hosting G20 Summit next year & India will host it in 2022, our 75th anniversary of independence. I believe that Asian powers like India & Saudi Arabia share similar security concerns in their neighborhood. In that respect, I'm happy that our cooperation, particularly in field of counter-terrorism, security & strategic issues, is progressing very well,'' he was quoted as saying.
The three-day forum, beginning on Tuesday, will host financiers, governments, and industry leaders who would discuss global trade and explore the trends, opportunities and challenges shaping the global investment landscape over the coming decades.
"India and Saudi Arabia have enjoyed traditionally close and friendly relations. Saudi Arabia has been one of the largest and reliable suppliers of India's energy needs," Modi said in his departure statement in New Delhi. He noted that defence, security, trade, culture, education and people-to-people contacts are the other important areas of bilateral cooperation with Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia last month said that it was looking at investing USD 100 billion in India in areas of energy, refining, petrochemicals, infrastructure, agriculture, minerals and mining. At the FII forum, Prime Minister Modi will speak on India's economy, its challenges and opportunities for equitable growth and prosperity. "I will speak about the growing trade and investment opportunities for the global investors in India as the country marches forward to a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2024," Modi said. The high-profile forum faced widespread boycott in 2018 in the aftermath of killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in the Kingdom''s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey by Saudi security agents.