Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday returned to India after concluding his visit to Saudi Arabia, during which he held extensive talks with the top Saudi leadership. India and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday inked more than a dozen agreements in several key sectors including oil and gas, defence and civil aviation to bolster their ties as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held extensive talks with the Kingdom's top leadership during which a Strategic Partnership Council was established to coordinate on important issues.
A memorandum of understanding was also signed to roll out RuPay card in the Kingdom - making Saudi Arabia the third country in the Persian Gulf after the UAE and Bahrain to introduce India’s digital payment system.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted, “Leaving with a marked upswing in bilateral relations. PM Narendra Modi departs from Riyadh after steering the India-Saudi relationship on a upward trajectory pointing towards greater collaboration in future.”
Prime Minister Modi also delivered a keynote address at the high-profile Future Investment Initiative (FII), dubbed as ‘Davos in the desert’, where he pressed for the United Nations reforms while expressing regret over some “powerful” countries using the global body as a “tool” rather than an “institution” to resolve conflicts.
Briefing the media following the meeting and luncheon hosted by King Salman for Prime Minister Modi, Economic Relations Secretary T S Tirumurti said that the two leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and agreed to step up bilateral security cooperation.
They also discussed cooperation in agriculture, oil and gas, maritime security, innovative technology, renewable energy, trade and investment between the two countries during their talks.
An agreement was signed on bringing coordination between e-migration systems of the two countries. An MoU was also signed to roll out RuPay card in the Kingdom - making Saudi Arabia the third country in the Persian Gulf after the UAE and Bahrain to introduce India's digital payment system.
There are over 2.6 million Indians working in Saudi Arabia, the largest expatriate community in the country. Nearly two lakh Haj pilgrims and over three hundred thousand Umrah pilgrims from India visit Saudi Arabia every year and acceptance of Rupay card will allow them to transact at cheaper.