Cabinet Gives Post Facto Approval To Set Up Strategic Partnership Council With Saudi Arabia
Mohammed Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, left, shakes hands with Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg) 

Cabinet Gives Post Facto Approval To Set Up Strategic Partnership Council With Saudi Arabia

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The Union Cabinet on Wednesday accorded a post facto approval to an agreement India signed with Saudi Arabia last month to set up a strategic partnership council.

The pact was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Saudi Arabia on Oct. 28-29 with an aim to ensure speedy implementation of projects having strategic importance.

"The agreement will enable the leadership at the highest-level in both countries to meet regularly and monitor progress in the ongoing initiatives and projects under the strategic partnership," a government statement said.

The council will be headed by Prime Minister Modi and Saudi Crown Prince Salman and it will meet at an interval of two years.

"It will help identify new areas for forging strategic engagement and will define the goals to be achieved and benefits to be derived," it said.

The government said the agreement will open new avenues of partnership in strategic areas like defence, security, counter-terrorism and energy.

Saudi Arabia is a key pillar of India's energy security, being the source of 17 percent or more of crude oil and 32 percent of liquefied petroleum gas requirements of the country.

The Gulf country is looking at investing $100 billion in India in areas of petrochemicals, infrastructure and mining among others in the next few years.

Officials said more than 40 opportunities for joint collaboration and investments between India and Saudi Arabia across various sectors have already been identified.

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