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Saudi Arabia's Shifting South Asia Policy



  Sep 20, 2023

India,Saudi Arabia and Pakistan



Saudi Arabia's Evolving South Asia Policy: What's Changed and Why?

Old Friends: Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were once close allies.

New Friends: Saudi Arabia and India are now getting along very well.

Recent Visit: Saudi Crown Prince visited India for the G-20 summit and a state visit.

Multilateral Boost: India and Saudi Arabia partnered with several countries for the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC).

Bilateral Progress: They also held the first meeting of the India-Saudi Strategic Partnership Council (SPC).

Economic Agreements: Eight bilateral agreements were signed, including those related to energy, desalination, and digitalization.

Unfinished Business: The West Coast refinery project, a massive investment in India, has faced delays.

Energy Partnership: Both nations upgraded their energy relationship.

Surprising Moves: Saudi Arabia made peace with Iran and joined BRICS.

Complex History: India-Saudi relations have had ups and downs, especially during the Cold War.

Support for Pakistan: Saudi Arabia used to strongly support Pakistan on issues like Kashmir.

Changing Trade: Trade between Saudi Arabia and India has been growing but with a trade deficit.

Counterterrorism Cooperation: Both countries now cooperate in counterterrorism and cybersecurity.

Diplomatic Statements: Statements have been made against terrorism without naming any specific country.

No Pakistan Visit: Unlike previous trips, the Saudi Crown Prince didn't visit Pakistan this time.

Conclusion: Saudi Arabia's South Asia policy seems to be changing, but it's too early to tell for sure.


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