NEW DELHI: The Saudi Embassy in New Delhi celebrated the Kingdom’s National Day on Monday with pomp and fanfare. The ceremony was held in the new embassy building, which was inaugurated in February this year during the visit of the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
“The building symbolizes not only Saudi architecture but also the deepening ties between Saudi Arabia and India,” said Saud Bin Mohammed Al-Sati, the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to India.
People from all walks of life and leaders from different political parties attended the ceremony. Among the important guests at the ceremony were Ajit Doval, India’s National Security Advisor, and former foreign minister Salman Khusheed of the opposition Congress party.
A Saudi business delegation visiting India was also present at the event, along with its Indian counterparts.
The main guest at the event was India’s junior minister for power Raj Kumar Singh.
In his inaugural speech the Saudi ambassador narrated the Kingdom’s journey from 1932 to date and how it is modernizing all walks of life in line with Vision 2030.
Calling the National Day as an important landmark in the history of modern Saudi Arabia, Sati said: “Today Saudi Arabia is playing a leading role at both global and regional levels, as a global economic power and as an anchor of peace in the region.”
He said: “We are transforming our economy, governance and society. Economic and social reforms are beginning to bear fruits and the Kingdom is emerging as one of the attractive economic destinations in the world. Our efforts to diversify the economy are also yielding results.”
“Saudi women are now more empowered and are playing many roles in public and private sectors,” said the Saudi ambassador.
He said that the country will continue “to march ahead in the area of economic development and modernization and continue to play a leading role in regional and global politics.”
He underlined the deepening ties with India and called the visit of Mohammed bin Salman to India early this year “a historic milestone.”
He emphasized that Saudi’s current economic investment of $34 billion will continue to grow in time to come.”
Finally, he talked about the strong cultural ties between New Delhi and Riyadh.
Minister Singh also dwelt on the relationship between the two nations and said that the ties between the countries are “historical and derive their sustenance from people to people contact”. He called the relationship “vibrant and forward looking” and termed the visit of crown prince in February this year as “landmark that further cemented the ties between India and Saudi Arabia”.
Singh condemned the drone attacks on Saudi’s oil installation and facilities and said: “India is opposed to terrorism in all its forms and manifestation.”
He appreciated the kingdom’s promise to make a $100 million investment in India.