Highest level Strategic partnership council

India and Saudi Arabia formed their strategic partnership by signing an agreement to form a council headed by Prime Minister Modi and King Salman.

This is a major development since Saudi Arabia is now only the fourth country with whom India has an inter-governmental mechanism headed by the prime minister. Germany, Russia and Japan are the other three.

Energy Needs

Apart from the formation of a council, the two sides stressed on energy security and “Strategic Petroleum Reserves” (SPRs). ISPRL (Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited) signed an agreement with Saudi Aramco to lease part of the 2.5 million-tonne Padur storage in southern Karnataka state and Indian Oil Corp signed a preliminary deal with Saudi Arabia’s’ Al Jeri company for cooperation in the downstream sector, including setting up fuel stations in the kingdom.

Prime Minister Modi held bilateral talks with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and signed the Strategic Partnership Council agreement. He also met separately King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

List of MoUs and agreements signed between India and Saudi Arabia in PM visit

  1. Agreement on security cooperation
  2. Bilateral air services agreement
  3. Agreement between Middle East unit of Indian Oil Corp and Saudi Arabia’s Al Jeri Group for downstream cooperation including retail outlets in Saudi Arabia
  4. MoU on defence industries collaboration
  5. MoU in cooperation on renewable energy
  6. MoU on medical products regulation
  7. MoU on prevention of Narcotics trafficking and drug demand reduction
  8. MoU between Saudi ARAMCO and Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd.
  9. MoU between foreign services institutes
  10. MoU for Atal Innovation Mission
  11. MoU between stock exchanges
  12. MoU on Haj related cooperation
  13. MoU on RuPay card

Source: India today

Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; IOBR