Indo-Saudi relations stronger than ever

Indo-Saudi relations stronger than ever
Updated 15 August 2012

Indo-Saudi relations stronger than ever

Indo-Saudi relations stronger than ever

India’s engagement with the Arabian Peninsula dates back to several millennia when traders and sailors from South Asia used to sail across the Arabian Sea, in boats made of Malabar wood. The relationship got reinforced and strengthened over a period of time with robust exchanges and there emerged a strong symbiotic relationship, which has stood the test of time and is growing stronger. The remarkable cultural similarities between the peoples of the two lands show the integration and assimilation of various aspects of their respective traditions into each other’s daily life.
The centuries old two-way trade was mutually beneficial for the people of India and Arabian Peninsula, enhancing their knowledge and understanding, besides fulfilling their day-to-day requirements. India used to import pearls and dates from the Arabian Peninsula while satiating the Arab necessities like foodstuffs, timber and textiles, and also supplied other luxury items like silk and jewelry.
The shared sense of mutual respect and admiration for the role played by the leadership of the two countries in the shaping of the region since the beginning of 20th century brought the two countries at the same plain. People of India admired the unification efforts of King Abdulaziz Al-Saud and formation of the Kingdom of the Saudi Arabia. The Indian government supported the endeavors undertaken by the leadership of Saudi Arabia to improve the Haj management, which has made the pilgrimage for the Muslims from across the world a safe and comfortable experience.
The leadership of the two countries has displayed a strong commitment to further the historical bonds of friendship. The visit of late King Saud bin Abdulaziz to India in 1955 marked the beginning of high-level bilateral engagement, which was followed a year later by the visit of Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to the Kingdom. Later, Crown Prince Faisal bin Abdulaziz visited India in 1959 and Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi visited the Kingdom in 1982.
The bilateral relationship received a major fillip in the beginning of the 21st century when Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah paid a historic visit to India in January 2006 as the chief guest at India’s Republic Day. The visit resulted in the ‘Delhi Declaration’ signed by the two leaders at the conclusion of the visit, which committed the two countries to pursue a joint strategic vision to promote bilateral relations for mutual benefit as well as for the peace and security of the region as a whole.
The visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Saudi Arabia in 2010 and the signing of the ‘Riyadh Declaration’ during the visit gave a further boost to the momentum of bilateral relations. It elevated the engagement between the two countries to the level of strategic partnership and articulated their commitment to promote bilateral ties in political, economic, security, defense and cultural areas. Based on the framework provided by the Delhi Declaration and Riyadh Declaration, bilateral relations between the two countries have been strengthened with increase in ministerial visits and stronger economic ties based on substantial trade relations and investments.
The tone set by the two landmark visits opened new vistas in bilateral cooperation. Saudi Arabia has emerged as India’s fourth largest trade partner, with annual bilateral trade exceeding $25 billion during the financial year 2010-2011. There are over 565 small and medium Indian enterprises operating in the Kingdom and the total Indian investments in Saudi Arabia have now crossed $2.5 billion, with the presence of major Indian companies in sectors such as IT, construction, contracting services, financial services and engineering goods.
The recent years have witnessed an enhanced level of cooperation in the field of IT, biotechnology, nanotechnology and space. India possesses one of the largest and qualified pools of scientific and technical manpower in the world, which is globally acclaimed for technological competence. Many Indian expatriates, who are specialists in field of IT, are contributing to the growth and development of Saudi IT and knowledge-based industries.
The two countries have shared vision for the global peace and development. India supports the Kingdom’s efforts in combating global terrorism and both the countries strive to join efforts to put an end to the scourge of extremism and violence, which constitute threat to all nations. Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s initiative to promote interfaith dialogue is well received and appreciated by the Indian leadership.
The role played by about two million Indian expatriates in the growth and development of the Kingdom is well appreciated by the Saudi leadership and has played an important role in bringing the two countries closer. They have been participating in all the major developmental projects in the Kingdom. In turn, the Kingdom is the largest source of crude oil for India, meeting around one-fifth of India’s oil requirements.
Recently, the defense minister of India paid a visit to Saudi Arabia, the first by any such minister to the Kingdom that further strengthened the defense ties between the two countries as articulated in the Riyadh and Delhi declarations. On the other hand, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) K. Rahman Khan visited the Kingdom to participate in the G-20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Conference. Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed visited the Kingdom in May 2012 and held high-level meetings with various Saudi dignitaries besides meeting with members of the Indian community.
From the Saudi side, Commerce & Industry Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah led a 76-member delegation to New Delhi earlier this year for the 9th Indo-Saudi Joint Commission Meeting. Saudi Assistant Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman visited India in February this year and held a meeting with Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister S. Jaipal Reddy. A Saudi parliamentary delegation led by Shoura Council Chairman Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Ibrahim Asheikh visited India and held meetings with India’s vice president, prime minister, Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) speaker and also external affairs minister.
On the cultural front, a 45-member Saudi youth delegation visited India on a 10-day tour in the month of March this year, to promote understanding and friendship among the youth of the two countries. The Saudi Youth delegation visited premier institutes such as Indian School of Business, Infosys, Narayan Hrudayalaya, Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineering and many other institutions, and also interacted with Indian business leaders at an event organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The delegation also met Indian political leaders and other senior officials of the ministry of external affairs in New Delhi.

 


Saudi Arabia condemns attack on Erbil airport

Saudi Arabia condemns attack on Erbil airport
Updated 3 min 48 sec ago

Saudi Arabia condemns attack on Erbil airport

Saudi Arabia condemns attack on Erbil airport
  • The ministry said the attack that “threatens the stability of Iraq and the region”
  • The Kingdom reiterated its support for Iraq and any measures that it takes to protect its security

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry condemned a drone attack targeting US forces stationed at Erbil airport in northern Iraq late on Wednesday.

The ministry said the attack that “threatens the stability of Iraq and the region,” and the safety of air navigation in the country, and undermines the efforts of the international coalition to help Iraq fight terrorism.

The Kingdom reiterated its support for Iraq and any measures that it takes to protect its security.

The strike is the first known attack carried out by an unmanned aerial drone against US forces in Erbil, amid a steady stream of rocket attacks on bases hosting US forces and the embassy in Baghdad that Washington blames on Iran-backed militias.

No one was hurt in the attack.


Riyadh metro, under construction

Riyadh metro, under construction
Updated 15 April 2021

Riyadh metro, under construction

Riyadh metro, under construction

Riyadh’s metro system is expected to partially operate by end of this year.

When fully operational it will comprise six lines with a total length of 176 kilometers, plus 85 stations.


Saudi Arabia announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 15 April 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 386,102
  • A total of 6,791 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 10 deaths from COVID-19 and 985 new infections on Thursday.
Of the new cases, 463 were recorded in Riyadh, 164 in Makkah, 140 in the the Eastern Province, 34 in Asir, 33 in Hail, 30 in Madinah, 21 in Jazan, 20 in Tabuk, 16 in Najran, 11 in the Northern Borders region, and six in Al-Jouf.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 386,102 after 661 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 6,791 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.
Over 6.6 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Saudi Arabia to date.
The health ministry earlier called on people to attend their vaccine appointments and said that those who miss their appointment will be required to book another one.


Coalition takes out 5 ballistic missiles, 4 drones in Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia

Coalition takes out 5 ballistic missiles, 4 drones in Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia
Updated 15 April 2021

Coalition takes out 5 ballistic missiles, 4 drones in Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia

Coalition takes out 5 ballistic missiles, 4 drones in Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Arab coalition destroyed five ballistic missiles and four explosive-laden drones launched by Houthis toward Saudi Arabia, Al-Ekhbariya reported on Thursday.
The attacks targeting Jazan are the latest in a long line of hostile actions against the Kingdom by the Iran-back Houthi militia. 
Jazan University was one of the targets as well as other civilian sites protected under international humanitarian law, coalition spokesman Turki Al-Malki said in a statement on the Saudi Press Agency, adding that the actions amount to war crimes.
The attacks originated from Sa’dah governorate in Yemen, Al-Malki added.
The coalition said the attack is a continuation of the Houthis’ systematic and intentional hostile attempts to target civilians. 
The Houthis, who took over the capital of Yemen, Sanaa, in 2014, have been condemned for their actions against the Kingdom. 
The Saudi government has said the Houthi attacks are not only against the  Kingdom and its economic facilities, but rather the center of the global economy, the security of its exports and its oil supplies, while also affecting maritime navigation.

Saudi Arabia has consistently backed efforts to resolved the war in Yemen peacefully.
Last week, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman held talks with Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, and reiterated that the Kingdom supports “all efforts to end the conflict, implement a cease-fire, alleviate the humanitarian crisis, and reach a political resolution that guarantees peace and prosperity for the brotherly people of Yemen.”
In March, Saudi Arabia announce a peace initiative to help end a war that has ravaged Yemen for the last six years. The initiative, which has received wide support, includes a cease-fire supervised by the UN, the reopening of Sanaa airport, and new talks to reach a political resolution to the conflict. Restrictions on the Red Sea port of Hodeidah would also be eased, allowing access for ships and cargo.
The UN’s chief, Antonio Guterres, backed the deal and urged all sides to take this opportunity to pursue peace and work with his special envoy, Martin Griffiths, on ways to proceed “in good faith and without preconditions.”


Yemen’s information minister, Moammar Al-Eryani, said members of the international community with open channels to the Houthis must use their leverage to encourage it to sever ties with Iran and commit to the Saudi-led peace initiative.
“These countries must put pressure on the Houthis to stop their daily crimes and violations against civilians in their areas of control, which are considered war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Al-Eryani told Arab News in an interview last week.
A Yemeni news agency reported last month that the Houthis had “provisionally” accepted the Saudi initiative to end the war in Yemen, but were demanding unchecked flights from Sanaa airport to unlimited destinations before giving the peace plan their final approval.
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Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief opens prosthetic limbs clinic in Aden

Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief opens prosthetic limbs clinic in Aden
Updated 15 April 2021

Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief opens prosthetic limbs clinic in Aden

Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief opens prosthetic limbs clinic in Aden
  • In addition to providing artificial limbs, the facility will also offer maintenance of prosthetics, rehabilitation services and physiotherapy

LONDON: The Saudi-based King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) has officially opened an artificial limbs clinic in the Yemeni city of Aden, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

Qasim Buhaibeh, the Yemeni minister of public health and population, thanked KSrelief for its work to help the Yemeni people. He also praised the achievement of establishing the prosthetic limb facility, which he said “will contribute to providing medical services and alleviating the suffering of those who are injured and the victims of mines.”

Saleh Al-Dibani, the director of KSrelief in Aden, said the organization has provided the prosthetic limb center with the resources it needs to help 1,434 beneficiaries, including 300 new prosthetic limbs.

A KSrelief worker is seen with young patients at the new prosthetic limb center in Aden. (SPA)

He added that KSrelief is also providing resources for maintenance of prosthetics, rehabilitation services, physiotherapy, and to hire medical staff in coordination with the Yemeni Ministry of Health.

“The project of equipping and preparing artificial limbs is one of the most important projects funded by KSrelief in the governorates of Aden, Taiz, Seiyun and Marib, with the aim of supporting the Yemeni health sector,” said Al-Dibani.

The center is part of the framework of humanitarian and relief efforts being provided by Saudi Arabia, through KSrelief, to the Yemeni people.