The strong historical ties received a healthy boost with Mohamed bin Salman, staying back after the G-20 where he had been received with a signal of that shared extra special personal warmth as in a hug from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Image: DC)
The Crown Prince who is its Prime Minister as well the prime mover of modernisation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was not letting out a secret when he said that there had been no disagreement in the history of India-Saudi Arabia relations.
The strong historical ties received a healthy boost with Mohamed bin Salman, staying back after the G-20 where he had been received with a signal of that shared extra special personal warmth as in a hug from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, held talks that had many positive outcomes, particularly in the field of energy, both traditional kind like fossil fuel as well as in exploiting newer green sources like a hydrogen grid.
The state visit may also add impetus to the long delayed western refinery to process 1.2 million barrels a day into which Saudi Arabia, now third largest supplier of crude oil after India stepped up the buying of Russian crude in the wake of Western sanctions due to the Ukraine war, was to invest $50 bn.
Beyond stepping up cooperation in energy security for both sides as India may be expected to supply hydrogen to Saudi Arabia when the ambitious project India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) of port and rail connectivity takes shape, India also acknowledged that Saudi Arabia was taking care of the welfare of the Indian expatriate population, accounting for upwards of seven per cent in the kingdom where the life of citizens is also being further eased by the extension of personal freedoms in a change to the modern from the old rigours.
India is in a win-win situation so far as ties in the region of the Saudi peninsula. If the US, which is pushing hard for extending its sphere of influence by bringing about a rapprochement between Israel and Saudi Arabia in exchange for security guarantees against Iran, succeeds in its grand scheme, there could be a sweeping change in geopolitics. As one of the few countries that enjoys good relations with Saudi Arabia as well as Israel, India can only stand to benefit if revolutionary changes come about in West Asia.