On Sunday, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar received Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud, who is visiting India for the first time. The Saudi Foreign Minister has arrived in New Delhi for a three-day visit and will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, September 20.
The two leaders later met at Hyderabad House in the nation’s capital where they discussed the current situation in Afghanistan as well as other regional issues, according to a foreign ministry statement. They also discussed bilateral collaboration in multilateral fora such as the United Nations, the G-20 and the Gulf Cooperation Council. Meanwhile, EAM Jaishankar praised Saudi Arabia for its effective G-20 presidency last year, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the statement read.
This is Saudi Arabia’s first ministerial visit to India since the start of the COVID pandemic. The two ministers discussed their bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of common interest. The two ministers also discussed the implementation of the Strategic Partnership Council agreement that the two countries agreed to in October 2019 during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Saudi Arabia and welcomed the sessions held in the framework of the agreement and progress made, the statement said. He further said that the two sides also discussed how they can improve their partnership in areas such as trade, investment, energy, defense, security, culture, consular affairs, health care and human resources. Jaishankar also expressed gratitude to Saudi Arabia for helping the Indian community during the COVID outbreak and urged the Gulf country to further ease travel restrictions.
It should be mentioned here that Saudi Arabia, following in the footsteps of China and Pakistan, supported the formation by the Taliban of an interim government in Afghanistan. On September 8, during a virtual ministerial conference devoted to the situation in Afghanistan, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan expressed his sincere condolences to the families of those killed in the chaos outside Hamid International Airport. Karzai of Kabul. He called the formation of the interim government “a step in the right direction” which will help the country achieve stability. He also urged the Taliban to protect Afghan lives and to renounce “violence and extremism”. The Kingdom’s foreign minister further said his government would help the war-torn country overcome its difficulties.