India inked a slew of agreements with Saudi Arabia, including for enhancing cooperation in counter-terror operations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day tour of Saudi Arabia came to an end on Sunday. He is the fourth Indian PM to visit the Gulf kingdom after Dr Manmohan Singh in 2010, Indira Gandhi in 1982 and Jawaharlal Nehru in 1956. Modi was conferred with Saudi Arabia's highest civilian honour, the King Abdulaziz Sash.
Following are some key takeaways from the two-day tour:
• India and Saudi Arabia signed five agreements, including a key pact on cooperation in the exchange of intelligence related to money laundering, terrorism financing and related crimes. The two countries agreed to enhance cooperation in counter-terrorism operations, intelligence sharing and capacity-building and to strengthen cooperation in law enforcement.
• Agreement signed on labour co-operation between the ministry of labour of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and ministry of external affairs of India for recruitment of general category workers.
• Technical cooperation agreement signed between the bureau of Indian standards (BIS) and the Saudi standards, metrology and quality organization (SASO).
• MoU signed between export promotion council for handicraft (EPCH) of India and Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage to promote cooperation in the field of handicrafts.
• India Invest and Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) signed an agreement on investment promotion cooperation.
• In a special gesture, PM Modi was conferred with Saudi Arabia's highest civilian honour, the King Abdulaziz Sash. Other world leaders who have received the same honour include Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, British PM David Cameron, US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
• On the last day of his tour, Modi met Saudi women IT professionals at the first-of-its-kind all-women TCS training centre. Describing them as the “glory of Saudi Arabia” the PM didn’t miss a photo op and posted a selfie with them. TCS established the first all-women business process services centre in Riyadh in 2013.
• He also interacted with 30 Saudi CEOs and Indian business leaders in Riyadh, describing India and Saudi Arabia as old friends, ready to take bold new steps to a golden future.
• He also shared a meal with workers at the L&T workers’ residential complex in Riyadh.
• Modi gifted Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz a gold-plated replica of Kerala’s Cheraman Juma Masjid, believed to be the first mosque built in India by Arab traders.