(This was originally posted in WION by Sidhant Sibal)
In a significant development, Indian and Saudi Armies will undertake joint bilateral exercises. This will be the first such exercises of both the Armies together. The Indian forces contingent will be traveling to Saudi Arabia for the exercises which will be taking place in the next financial year.
In December of 2020, in another significant development, Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane had visited Saudi Arabia. It was the first time any Indian Army chief had visited the West Asian country in what is a clear sign of growing ties between New Delhi and Riyadh.
The Army Chief during his Saudi Visit had visited Headquarters of Royal Saudi Land Force, the Joint Force Command Headquarters and King Abdul Aziz Military Academy. Saudi Arabia identifies India as one of the Kingdom’s Strategic Partner Countries under its ‘Vision 2030’.
Last few years has seen increase engagement between the 2 countries. 2019 saw visit of Indian PM Modi to the country during which Strategic Partnership Council Agreement was signed. Earlier that year in February, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had visited New Delhi. During the visit, Riyadh announced investments targeting a value of US $ 100 billion in India.
INDIA AND SAUDI ARABIA
Formal diplomatic relations between contemporary India and Saudi Arabia were established soon after India gained independence in 1947. Relations between the two countries have strengthened considerably owing to collaboration in regional affairs and trade.