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S Jaishankar holds talks with Saudi counterpart, says ‘very useful’ exchange of views on Afghanistan

The developments in Afghanistan and methods to additional develop bilateral ties in areas of defence, commerce, funding and power have been the important thing focus of the wide-ranging talks between Exterior Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his visiting Saudi counterpart Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud on Sunday.

After the talks, Jaishankar described the assembly as “cordial and productive” and he had a “very helpful trade” of views with Al Saud on Afghanistan, the Gulf area and the Indo-Pacific.

The exterior affairs minister mentioned on Twitter that he urged early resumption of direct flights to Saudi Arabia and that it was agreed to work intently on all Covid-related challenges.

Al Saud arrived on Saturday night on a three-day go to, within the first ministerial journey from Saudi Arabia to India because the outbreak of the pandemic.

The Ministry of Exterior Affairs (MEA) mentioned the 2 sides deliberated on the developments in Afghanistan and explored methods to deepen ties in areas of defence, commerce, funding and power.

It mentioned Jaishankar referred to as for additional rest in restrictions on journey from India to the Gulf nation whereas appreciating the nation for the assist offered to the Indian group in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“A cordial and productive assembly with Saudi FM HH @Faisalbinfarhan. Mentioned our cooperation within the political, safety and socio-cultural pillars of our strategic partnership,” Jaishankar tweeted.

“Very helpful trade of views on Afghanistan, the Gulf and the Indo-Pacific,” he mentioned.

In a press release, the MEA mentioned the ministers exchanged views on the developments in Afghanistan and mentioned all issues associated to their bilateral relationship and regional and worldwide problems with mutual curiosity.

“The 2 ministers reviewed the implementation of the ‘Strategic Partnership Council Settlement’ signed between the 2 sides in the course of the go to of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia in October 2019,” the MEA mentioned.

It mentioned the 2 sides expressed satisfaction on the conferences held beneath the settlement and progress achieved.

“Either side mentioned additional steps to strengthen their partnership in commerce, funding, power, defence, safety, tradition, consular points, well being care and human assets,” the MEA mentioned.

The MEA mentioned the 2 sides additionally mentioned bilateral cooperation in multilateral boards such because the United Nations, G-20 and Gulf Cooperation Council.

“The exterior affairs minister congratulated Saudi Arabia on its profitable presidency of G-20 final yr regardless of the Covid-19 pandemic,” it mentioned.

The Saudi overseas minister is scheduled to name on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.

The go to by the Saudi overseas minister to India got here at a time India has been engaged with all main powers on the developments in Afghanistan following its takeover by the Taliban.

It’s learnt that the state of affairs in Afghanistan was a serious space of focus of the talks between Jaishankar and Al Saud.

Being a serious regional participant, Saudi Arabia’s place on the developments in Kabul assumes significance as a number of nations within the Gulf area together with Qatar and Iran have been taking part in a task within the Afghan peace course of earlier than the Taliban’s seize of energy.

Within the Gulf area, India has been in contact with United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iran over the unfolding developments in Afghanistan.

In reflection of India’s views on the matter, Prime Minister Modi on Friday mentioned the worldwide group ought to resolve “collectively” and “thoughtfully” on in accordance recognition to the brand new set-up in Afghanistan in view of questions over its acceptability because the change of energy was not “inclusive”.

He made the remarks throughout a digital deal with at a gathering on Afghanistan of the heads of state of the SCO and the Collective Safety Treaty Organisation.

The defence and safety ties between India and Saudi Arabia are witnessing gradual enlargement.

Chief of Military Workers Gen MM Naravane visited Saudi Arabia in December final within the first-ever go to by a head of the 1.three million-strong Military to the strategically essential Gulf nation.

Gen Naravane held in depth talks with senior army officers of that nation with an purpose to reinforce bilateral defence cooperation.

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