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India, Saudi Arabia seek to establish stronger ties

world Updated: Feb 15, 2012 11:16 IST

IANS
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India and Saudi Arabia have looked at ways to enhance bilateral ties during the two-day visit of Indian defence minister AK Antony.

Defence minister Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz on Tuesday met Antony in the presence of deputy minister of defence Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, reported Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

This was the first time an Indian defence minister was visiting Saudi Arabia. The trip began on Monday.

Antony was accompanied by a high-level delegation, including defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma, Indian Army vice chief Lt Gen SK Singh and Indian Navy deputy chief Vice Admiral Satish Soni.

During the meeting, they made an in-depth review of aspects of cooperation between the two countries and ways of enhancing bilateral ties, SPA reported.

In a statement, Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz hailed Saudi-Indian relations as deep-rooted. He also highlighted the visit of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to India in January 2006, which he said boosted further cooperation between the two countries and strengthened the partnership in the framework of mutual interest and close ties.

Prince Salman stated that the visit of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz culminated in the signing of several agreements which boosted these relations.

"Moreover, the meeting of the Saudi-Indian joint committee last month provided ample evidence of the firm desire to continue booting these relationships for the benefit of the two friendly countries," he added.

Antony said his visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was important for promoting cooperation between the two countries.

He also stressed the keenness of the Indian government to strengthen further relations with the kingdom.