New Delhi: India has conveyed its “serious concern” to Saudi Arabia at the diplomatic levels and asked it to “take urgent corrective steps” after a new Saudi currency banknote excluded the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh from the territorial map of India. New Delhi said the new currency note was a “gross misrepresentation of India's external territorial boundaries on an official and legal banknote of Saudi Arabia”, “reiterating that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are integral parts of India”. The issue has been raised both with the Saudi Ambassador in New Delhi and by the Indian envoy in the Saudi Capital Riyadh.
The new Saudi currency banknote was “issued on October 24 to mark the occasion of Saudi presidency of the G20”. The new banknote, reportedly a 20 Riyal one, apparently show the two UTs as a separate territory.
In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, “We have seen the banknote referred by you which gives an incorrect depiction of India's external territorial boundaries. The note was issued by Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority on October 24 to mark the occasion of Saudi presidency of the G20. We have conveyed our serious concern to Saudi Arabia, both through their Ambassador in New Delhi as well as in Riyadh, for this gross misrepresentation of India's external territorial boundaries on an official and legal banknote of Saudi Arabia and asked the Saudi side for taking urgent corrective steps in this regard. I would like to further reiterate that entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are integral parts of India.”
Ties between India and Saudi Arabia have been extremely strong in recent times and there have also been irritants in ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia which was its long-time backer....