President Ram Nath Kovind said India wishes to be a partner in Saudi Arabia's 'Vision 2030' as he hosted a banquet for the gulf nation's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
The ever-expanding scope of India-Saudi Arabia bilateral relations demands sustained strategic engagement and frequent interactions between the two sides at all levels, a statement from the Rashtrapati Bhavan said quoting Kovind.
Ministry of External Affair conducted a press briefing to elaborate on the meeting held between India and Saudi Arabia.
The press brief addressed the terrorism-related conversations between two leaders.
"The two leaders (PM Modi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman) condemned in the strongest terms the recent terrorist attack on Indian forces in Pulwama in Jammu & Kashmir."
"Both leaders (PM Modi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman) underlined the importance of comprehensive sanctioning of terrorists and their organisations by the United Nations."
"The complicity of Pakistan in Pulwama attacks was very much underlined. They agreed on the need for creating necessary conditions for any resumption of talks."
"Prince appreciated the consistent efforts made by PM Modi since May 2014, including his personal initiatives to have friendly relations with Pakistan. Both sides agreed on the need for creation of conditions necessary for the resumption of the comprehensive dialogue."
MEA on being asked if Saudi Arabia has offered to mediate between India & Pakistan: At this point in time, no mediation has been offered.
Five documents were exchanged in the presence of PM Narendra Modi and HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, in areas of investment, tourism, housing and information & broadcasting.
Saudi crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman addresses joint press briefing:
"This is my first visit to India as the head of a delegation. We talked it before that our relationship goes long back."
"We have a lot of opportunities ahead of us. We want to cooperate with India to head towards a new direction."
"We understand that there are more than 100 billion opportunities in India, which can be used for the benefit of both countries.
"I thank for the affection I received in India."
PM Modi addresses joint press briefing:
"The cruel attack in Pulwama last week underlines the anti-humanitarian threat the world is facing. To deal with it effectively, we agree that there is a need to put all possible pressure on countries supporting terrorism. It is necessary to destroy the infrastructure of terrorism and end its support system by giving strong punishment to the terrorists and their supporters."
PM Modi and Saudi Crown Prince address joint press briefing after signing bilateral ties between Saudi Arabia and India, at Hyderabad House in Delhi.
Mohammed bin Salman met with PM Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House where closed-door talks will be held between the two leaders, and terror is expected to be high on agenda amid the tensions between India and Pakistan. This would be followed by delegations talks between the two nations.
The official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs tweeted a picture from the meeting of Union Minister Sushma Swaraj and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The two leaders discussed 'adding momentum to strategic dimensions' to their relationship in fields including trade, investment, defence, security and regional cooperation.
As a part of his South Asia tour, Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has a day planned out where he will be meeting PM Modi, External Minister Sushma Swaraj and President Ram Nath Kovind.
The crown prince landed in New Delhi on Tuesday night for his two-day visit, where India is expected to bring up the issue of cross-border terrorism and strengthen diplomatic ties with the middle eastern country.
During his visit, India is likely to raise the issue of state-sponsored terrorism by Pakistan with the crown prince, as the two countries will look forward to enhancing defence ties, including having a joint naval exercise.
The sources said the two sides are looking at joint exercise between the two navies besides significantly ramping up overall defence cooperation.
Earlier in the day, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Following which, he said, "Today we want to be sure that this relation is maintained and improved for the sake of both countries. With the leadership of the President and the PM, I am sure we can create good things for Saudi Arabia and India."
Along with strengthening of diplomatic ties, the purpose of his visit pans across various areas that will be benefited, including:
The schedule of the crown prince is as follows:
Ceremonial reception for Mohammed bin Salman at the Rashtrapati Bhavan
Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj will be meeting the Saudi crown prince
In Hyderabad House PM Modi is scheduled to meet crown prince
Both the countries will be holding delegation-level talks
A joint briefing between India and Saudi Arabia will take place at the Hyderabad House
Mohammed bin Salman will meet President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan
READ| India To Raise Cross-border Terrorism Issue During Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman's Two-day Visit
Pertaining to the Pulwama terror attack on jawans, official sources said Saudi Arabia was no longer accepting Pakistan's narrative on Kashmir and cross border terrorism and that India will forcefully raise the issue of Pakistan's support to terror groups during delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Crown Prince on Wednesday.
They said the joint statement to be issued after talks between the two sides is likely to have a strong reference about terrorism and ways to deal with it.
Referring to cross border terrorism, he said, "Saudi Arabia has strongly condemned and denounced the terrorist attack on Indian security forces in Pulwama on 14 February. We appreciate Kingdom's cooperation in security and counter-terrorism areas over the years."
According to reports, Saudi Arabia has been providing India with intelligence on terror networks and that Riyadh and New Delhi had inked a pact on the exchange of intelligence relating terrorism to money laundering during PM Modi's visit to the Kingdom in 2016.