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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 78

Saudi Monarch’s Visit and India’s entry into OIC

[b]Saudi Monarch’s Visit and India’s entry into OIC[/b]

By Alok Bansal

The recent visit of His Royal Highness King Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz, the Saudi Monarch to India has opened new vistas of cooperation between the two countries. This visit by the Saudi monarch comes after 51 years, during which the relations between the two countries were definitely not at their best. Saudi Arabia actively supported Pakistan during 1971 war and the relations were further strained when India failed to condemn the Soviet Union for invading Afghanistan..

There were also differences after insurgency erupted in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989. In India’s perception Saudis have been seen to be favouring Islamabad’s stand on Kashmir and New Delhi has therefore kept a wary eye on close relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. However, the Soviet Union’s collapse and recent differences with United States- how so ever subtle, have forced Saudi Arabia to look East to India and China. The world’s biggest oil exporter is keen to deepen links with India and China, whose energy needs are soaring as their economies experience strong growth. This has created the avenues for closer relationship between India and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi monarch who was the chief guest for India’s Republic Day parade was reported to be visibly impressed with India’s growth and development, as well as the country’s enormous potential. In a unique departure the king has personally signed (normally the monarch only signs proclamations) a bilateral declaration. The declaration pledges to commit Saudi Arabia to India’s complete energy security. This commitment coming from the world’s largest crude oil producer and exporter means a lot to a growing economy like India. The declaration also envisages close cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia to fight the menace of terrorism and other international crimes like money laundering, drugs and arms smuggling.

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