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At the invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh paid an official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 13-15/3/1431H corresponding to February 27 – March 1, 2010.
During the visit, the Prime Minister of India addressed the Majlis Al-Shoura, and received the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Petroleum and Mineral Resources and Commerce and Industry. An honorary doctorate was conferred upon the Prime Minister by King Saud University.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh held in depth discussions on a wide range of issues in an atmosphere of utmost warmth, cordiality, friendship and transparency. They asserted that strong bilateral ties between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of India were to the benefit of their peoples and of all humanity.
The two leaders were unanimous that the visit of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to India in 2006, and the current visit of the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia heralded a new era in Saudi-India relations, that is in keeping with the changing realities and unfolding opportunities of the 21st century. This would be in accordance with the civilizational, historic and cultural links which bind them and their regions.
The two leaders reviewed the status of implementation of the historic Delhi Declaration signed on 27/12/1426H corresponding to 27 January 2006, and expressed their satisfaction at the steady expansion of Saudi-India relations since the signing of the Delhi Declaration. They re-emphasized the importance of full implementation of the Delhi Declaration through exchange of visits at the ministerial, official, business, academia, media and other levels.
Keeping in view the development of relations between the two countries, and the potential for their further growth, the two leaders decided to raise their cooperation to a strategic partnership covering security, economic, defence and political areas.
The two leaders reiterated their mutual desire to develop as knowledge-based economies based on advances in the areas of information technology, space science and other frontier technologies. They welcomed the agreements signed between the two sides in the field of Research and Education, Information Technology and Services, Science and Technology, and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
Both leaders emphasized the importance of developing a broad-based economic partnership that reflects the ongoing transformation of their economies, and the changes such transformation are bringing about in the global economic order, including continuous coordination within the framework of the G-20 process. They welcomed the outcome of the 8th Session of the Joint Commission for Economic, Trade, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation held in Riyadh in October, 2009.
The two leaders stressed on continuing to work towards strengthening their strategic partnership by meeting the two countries' vast requirements relating to infrastructure, energy and development, by augmenting the flow of their investments into each other’s countries, and enhancing the bilateral trade in accordance with the potential and size of their economies. In this regard, the two leaders invited the private sector in the two countries and the Saudi – India Business Council to increase their efforts to take advantage of the investment opportunities provided by the two countries.
The two leaders further emphasised the importance of strengthening the strategic energy partnership based on complimentarity and interdependence, as outlined in the Delhi Declaration, including meeting India's increasing requirement of crude oil supplies, and identifying and implementing specific projects for cooperation including in the areas of new and renewable energy. India invited Saudi Arabia to participate in crude storage facilities in India. They directed the Joint Working Group on Energy to continue adopting all appropriate means to achieve the same.
The two leaders agreed on the role and importance of the youth in consolidating and strengthening the relations between their peoples, and directed the concerned authorities to prepare necessary programmes for activating this role in the framework of Memorandum of Cooperation in the educational field signed between the two countries in 2006, and also providing all necessary facilities to their students studying in both countries.
The two leaders mandated the Saudi-India Joint Commission to continue follow up of the implementation of this Declaration to build this strategic partnership.
The Prime Minister of India expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the excellent efforts made and services provided by the Saudi authorities to the Haj and Umra pilgrims from India.
The two leaders welcomed the level of existing cooperation in defence fields between the concerned authorities in the two countries, and agreed to continue strengthening this cooperation in a way that realizes their common interests.
The two leaders noted that tolerance, religious harmony and brotherhood, irrespective of faith or ethnic background, were part of the principles and values of both countries. These are the same principles advocated by the initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for dialogue among different faiths and beliefs.
The two leaders renewed condemnation of the phenomena of terrorism, extremism and violence affirming that it is global and threatens all societies and is not linked to any race, color or belief. The international community must, therefore, resolutely combat terrorism. The two sides agreed to enhance cooperation in exchange of information relating to terrorist activities, money laundering, narcotics, arms and human trafficking, and develop joint strategies to combat these threats. They welcomed the signing of the Extradition Treaty and the Agreement for Transfer of Sentenced Persons.
In the course of discussions on regional and international issues, the peace process in the Middle East was high on the agenda. The two leaders reviewed ongoing efforts and the latest developments, and expressed hope for the early resumption of the peace process in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, and the Arab Peace Plan with a view to address all the key issues of the dispute comprehensively and within a definite timeframe leading to the establishment of a sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestinian State, in accordance with the two state solution.
The two leaders emphasized that continued building of settlements by Israel constitutes a fundamental stumbling block for the peace process.
The two leaders emphasized the importance of regional and international efforts focusing on making the Middle East and Gulf Region free of all nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction.
The two leaders reiterated their support for ongoing international efforts to resolve the issues relating to Iran’s nuclear programme peacefully through dialogue and called for continuation of these efforts. They encouraged Iran to respond to those efforts in order to remove regional and international doubts about its nuclear programme, especially as these ensure the right of Iran and other countries to peaceful uses of nuclear energy according to the yardsticks and procedures of International Atomic Energy Agency and under its supervision.
The two leaders discussed the situation in Afghanistan and called for the preservation of Afghanistan’s sovereignty and independence. They expressed their full support for the efforts aimed at helping Afghanistan to develop its infrastructure and achieve social and economic development. They supported the efforts of the people of Afghanistan to achieve stability and security, protected from exploitation by the terrorist organizations, while upholding the values and principles of the Constitution of Afghanistan.
The two leaders discussed the situation in Iraq and expressed hope that the forthcoming elections will enable the people of Iraq to realize their aspirations by achieving security and stability, strengthening territorial integrity and consolidating its national unity on the principle of equality of rights and obligations among all Iraqis irrespective of their faith and sect.
The Prime Minister of India conveyed his deep gratitude and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for the warm and gracious hospitality extended to him and the members of his delegation during his official visit to the Kingdom.