Arun Jaitley meets Saudi King; discusses ways to boost ties
Riyadh, Feb 19 Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met Saudi King Salman and discussed with him ways to boost bilateral economic and trade cooperation.
Jaitley, who is here on a two-day official visit to co-chair the 12th India-Saudi Arabia Joint Commission Meeting, called on King Salman at Al-Yamamah Palace yesterday.
"King Salman and the Indian minister discussed bilateral relations and ways of developing and enhancing them in various fields," Saudi's state-run news agency SPA reported.
Jaitley conveyed the greetings of President Ram Nath Kovind to the King. "Called on His Royal Highness The King of Saudi Arabia, February 18," Jaitley tweeted after the meeting.
The minister also attended a meeting with the top Saudi businessmen at the Council of Saudi Chamber (CSC), where he was received by CSC chairman Ahmed Sulaiman Al-Rajhi.
"The progressively growing cooperation between the Kingdom and India in the fields of trade and commerce; and how to strengthen trade ties; figured prominently in the meeting," the CSC said in a statement.
Jaitley also met Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry & Mineral Resources Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih and Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan.
He also attended the 12th Joint Consultative Mechanism meeting today. "Co-chairing the 12th India-Saudi Arabia Joint Consultative Mechanism meeting with H.E. Dr. Majid Al Qasabi, Minister of Trade & Investment, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," Jaitley tweeted.
Saudi Arabia is India's fourth-largest trading partner besides being a major energy supplier to India. The volume of two-way trade between the two countries exceeded USD 25 billion in 2016-17.
Saudi Arabia and India enjoy cordial and friendly relations and have forged closer strategic ties. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Saudi Arabia in April 2016.