NEW DELHI: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan held talks with the Indian foreign minister in New Delhi on Sunday amid growing fears of a return to a repressive Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
The two leaders had what India’s Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar described as a “very useful exchange of views on Afghanistan” in a “cordial and productive meeting.”
Saudi Arabia’s top Saudi diplomat arrived in New Delhi for a two-day visit on Saturday and is expected to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.
“Delighted to welcome FM of Saudi Arabia HH Prince @Faisalbinfarhan for his first-ever visit to India,” Jaishankar tweeted and posted a picture of two of them.
A few hours ago, Prince Faisal bin Farhan arrived in New Delhi on a three-day visit. During his visit, he will call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 20.
Earlier in August, Saudi Arabia lifted the quarantine rule for Indians who have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the Gulf country.
Jaishankar also held bilateral talks with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir last month.
Subramanyam Jaishankar held talks with his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan al Saud on Sunday, the first in- person visit since the Covid-19 pandemic.
Soon afterward, Jaishankar tweeted, “A cordial and productive meeting with Saudi FM HH@Faisalbinfarhan Discussed our cooperation in the political, security and socio-cultural pillars of our strategic partnership. Very useful exchange of views on Afghanistan, the Gulf and the Indo-Pacific.’’
Though India and most of the Gulf kingdoms have had centuries of traditional trading ties, political relations were never warm. Successive governments in India felt that Saudi Arabia was an ally of arch-foe Pakistan and did not invest time and energy in cultivating Riyadh. Yes India bought oil from the region and its people went to the Gulf and sent back precious dollars.