Editorial Simplified: Mixed Optics | GS – II

Relevance :  GS Paper II( International Relations)


Theme of the article

The Saudi Crown Prince’s visit highlighted the complexities in bilateral ties


Introduction

The visit  of Crown Prince Mohammed  Salman Bin to New Delhi will be regarded as a diplomatic success, given the numerous outcomes.


Progress of India-Saudi relations

  • India and Saudi Arabia have steadily built bilateral relations and taken great care over the past two decades to ‘de-hyphenate’ them from ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
  • India-Saudi Arabia ties were strengthened into a strategic partnership announced in 2010 in the Riyadh Declaration when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paid a visit, and were bolstered by King Salman’s visit in February 2014 and Mr. Modi’s 2016 trip to Saudi Arabia..

The outcomes of the visit

  • Announcement were made for measures to:
    • upgrade the defence partnership,
    • create a “Strategic Partnership Council” to coordinate on security issues, and
    • institute regular talks between the two national security advisers to discuss counter-terrorism, intelligence-sharing and maritime security.
  • Saudi Arabia has also expressed its interest in investing in infrastructure projects worth about $26 billion. This is beyond its already committed investments in India of $44 billion for the existing joint venture with the public sector oil undertakings and public fund investments of $10 billion.
  • The language on terrorism in the joint statement was something of a dampener for those who would have hoped there would be stronger condemnation of the terror attack in Pulwama. But it was significant that the Saudi government agreed to insert an extra clause calling on states to renounce the “use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy”.
  • It also acknowledged that disputes between India and Pakistan must be resolved bilaterally.
  • The prince agreed to increase Haj quotas and release 850 Indians from Saudi jails.