JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s relations with Pakistan do not come at the expense of the Kingdom’s ties with India, Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said during his recent visit to New Delhi.
“Pakistan is a historic ally and will remain so,” Al-Jubeir said, adding that Saudi Arabia and India have a strategic relationship in all fields.
“If having such close relations with both countries can be useful in helping the two nations overcome their differences we would be willing to help,” he said in an interview with The Times of India.
“But we will not impose ourselves. I believe there is an emerging desire with both countries to improve relations with each other — Pakistan’s Premier (Nawaz Sharif) was invited to PM Modi’s inauguration and then we saw Mr. Modi’s birthday diplomacy,” said Al-Jubeir.
He pointed out that Saudi Arabia has extensive economic relations with India. “We are the largest supplier of oil to India.”
Al-Jubeir said: “We have a community of almost 3 million Indians. They are our doctors, bankers, engineers and teachers. They are by far the most peaceful non-Saudi community and we appreciate all their contributions to Saudi nation and society. They are an important bridge.”
The minister also expressed hope that Indian Premier Narendra Modi’s first visit to Saudi Arabia early next month would see a “tremendous uplift” in bilateral relations.
The Saudi Foreign Minister arrived in New Delhi late on Monday on a one-day visit to India as part of the preparations for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the kingdom early next month. In this regard, he held meetings with Modi and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday to finalise the agenda.