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Saudi Arabia among India’s most important strategic partners: PM Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud held the first leaders’ meeting of the India- Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council on Monday and discussed cooperation in areas such as energy security, trade and investment, defence and security, healthcare and food security.
PM Modi said in his opening remarks that the talks with the visiting Saudi Arabian leader will provide new energy and direction to ties between the two nations. 
“For India, Saudi Arabia is one of its most important strategic partners. As two large and fast-growing economies of the world, our mutual cooperation is important for peace and stability in the entire region. In our talks, we have identified several initiatives to take our partnership to the next level. Today's talks will provide new energy and direction to our relations. This will provide us inspiration to work together for the welfare of humanity," he said.
PM Modi said that the economic corridor between India, West Asia and Europe will provide economic growth and digital connectivity between these regions. He noted that the cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia in the economic sector is vital for the peace and stability of the entire region. 
"Yesterday, we have taken a decision to start a historic economic corridor between India, West Asia and Europe. This corridor will not only connect two countries but also help in providing economic growth, and digital connectivity between Asia, West Asia and Europe. Under your leadership and vision 2030, Saudi Arabia has seen tremendous economic growth and I congratulate you for that."
PM Modi also thanked the visiting leader for Saudi Arabia's contribution to the success of India's G20 Presidency.
He lauded the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince’s commitment or the welfare of Indians residing in Saudi Arabia. 
India, the US, UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy and the European Union signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor during the G20 Summit.
“PM @narendramodi and Crown Prince & PM of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman held the first Leaders’ Meeting of the India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council. Agenda included a broad range of areas of bilateral cooperation including energy security, trade and investment, defence and security, healthcare, food security, culture and community welfare issues among others,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a post on X.
The Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, who arrived here on a three-day State visit, attended the G20 Summit in the national capital. 
The Saudi Crown Prince is accompanied by a high-level delegation, including ministers and senior officials.
Prior to his meeting with PM Modi, the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince received a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan. PM Modi and President Droupadi Murmu welcomed the Saudi Arabian leader.
The Saudi Crown Prince then inspected a combined defence services Guard of Honour.
Mohammed bin Salman congratulated India for a successful G20 presidency.
"Well done India, a lot of announcements made that will benefit both our countries, the G20 countries and the whole world. So I want to say to India well done, and we will work to create a future for both countries," he told reporters.
Later in the day, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince is scheduled to call on President Droupadi Murmu.
India and Saudi Arabia have historically close and friendly relations with extensive people-to-people contacts. The bilateral trade reached an all-time high of USD 52.75 billion in FY 2022-23.

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