India and Saudi Arabia are keen to impart further momentum to their bilateral engagement

India and Saudi Arabia have agreed to establish a Joint Working Group for regular dialogues covering various fields such as political, consular, Haj, defence, security, culture, health and education.

This decision was taken during the inaugural Senior Official Meeting of the Committee on Political, Security, Social and Cultural Cooperation (PSSC) under the aegis of the India-Saudi Arabia Agreement for Strategic Partnership Council, held in a virtual format on Wednesday.

At the meet, while the Indian side was led by Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary (CPV & OIA) in the Ministry of External Affairs, the Saudi side was led by Dr. Adel Siraj Merdad, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Political and Economic Affairs.

Both sides referred to the visit of the PM Narendra Modi to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in October 2019 and highlighted that the Strategic Partnership Council reflects the desire of the leadership of both sides to impart further momentum to this important relationship.

The SOM provided an opportunity to discuss and review various areas of cooperation between the two countries and mechanisms of work.

The two senior officials noted the close cooperation between the two countries during the Covid-19 pandemic. Secretary (CPV&OIA) Bhattacharyya thanked Saudi side for taking care of the Indian community during Covid-19 and hoped that both sides would finalize an air bubble arrangement soon.

The Saudi side thanked India for standing by Saudi Arabia during the pandemic including on facilitating travel of Indian healthcare professionals to Saudi Arabia. It looked forward to supply of India-made Covid vaccine to Saudi Arabia.

Both sides agreed to convene the next SOM at an early date.