Saudi leadership discusses with Indian PM means to further bilateral ties, regional affairs

Saudi Arabia, India sign economic, security, cultural, scientific agreements

Riyadh Declaration renews condemnation of violence, extremism, terrorism

Saudi, Indian leaders agree Israel’s continued building of settlements is obstacle on the road to reach peace

Saudi Arabia, India express hope peace march is resumed on the basis of international resolutions, Arab peace initiative

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received at his palace Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques shook hands with the Indian Prime Minister, welcoming him in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh Region, also shook hands with the Indian Prime Minister.

The Indian Prime Minister shook hands with Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General; Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Interior Minister; a number of princes, ministers and senior civil and military officials.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques shook hands with the members of the official delegation accompanying the Indian Prime Minister.

King Abdullah held at his palace a dinner party in honor of Indian Prime Minister Singh and the accompanying delegation.

The dinner party was attended by Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General; Prince Fahd bin Mohammed bin Abdulaziz; Prince Bandar bin Mohammad bin Abdulrahman; Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Interior Minister; Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh Region; and a number of princes, ministers and senior civil and military officials.

In presence of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of India Dr. Manmohan Singh, a number of agreements were signed at the King's Palace on Sunday evening.

A cooperation agreement on the extradition of the accused and convicted persons between Saudi Arabia and the Republic of India and an agreement on the transfer of persons sentenced to deprivation of freedom were signed by Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior and Indian Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad.

A memorandum of cultural cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and Information of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Culture of Republic of India was signed by Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohieddin Khoja and Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Murli Deora.

An agreement on scientific and technical cooperation and a memorandum of understanding on cooperation on the peaceful use of outer space between King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia and Space Research Organization in the Republic of India was signed by the City's President Dr. Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al-Suwaiyel and Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Anand Sharma.

After the signing ceremony and the exchange of signed copies, princes and ministers greeted the King and the Indian Prime Minister.

The ceremony was attended by Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General; Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Governor of Riyadh Region; Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the Minister of Foreign Affairs; Prince Muqren bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Ahmed Zainal; and Saudi Ambassador to India Faisal Trad.

It was also attended by members of the official delegation accompanying the Indian Prime Minister.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the Prime Minister of Republic of India Dr. Manmohan Singh held official talks at the King's Palace in Riyadh on Sunday evening.

At the outset of the meeting, the King welcomed the Indian Prime Minister and the accompanying delegation, wishing them a pleasant stay in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

On his part, Dr. Singh expressed his thanks to and appreciation of the King for the warm reception and generous hospitality accorded to them.

Then, the King awarded to the Indian Prime Minister King Abdulaziz Sash of the first class, which is awarded to Crown Princes and Prime Ministers of sisterly and friendly countries.

Dr. Singh expressed his thanks to and appreciation of the King for awarding the sash to him, stressing his pride in this honoring.

During the meeting, they discussed aspects of cooperation between the two friendly countries, ways of their enhancement in all fields, and overall events and developments at regional and international arenas.

The meeting was attended by Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General; Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior; Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Governor of Riyadh Region; Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Minister of Foreign Affairs; Prince Muqren bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Ahmed Zainal; and Saudi Ambassador to India Faisal Trad.

On the Indian side, it was attended by Minister of Health and Family Planning Ghulam Nabi Azad; Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Murli Deora; Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma; Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Shashi Tharoor; Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister T. K. A. Nair; and a number of officials.

At the end of the meeting, the King and the Indian Prime Minister signed Riyadh Declaration.

Following is the text of Riyadh Declaration: A New Era of Strategic Partnership:

At the invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, The Prime Minister of India, His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh paid an official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 13-15/3/1431 H corresponding to February 27- March 1, 2010.

During the visit , the Prime Minister of India addressed the Majlis Al-Shoura, and received the ministers of foreign affairs, petroleum and mineral resources and commerce and industry. An honorary doctorate was conferred upon the Prime Minister by King Saud University.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh held in depth discussions on a wide range of issues in an atmosphere of utmost warmth, cordiality, friendship and transparency. They asserted that strong bilateral ties between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of India were to the benefit of their people and of all humanity.

The two leaders were unanimous that the visit of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to India in 2006 and the current visit of the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia heralded a new era in Saudi-India relations, that is in keeping with the changing realities and unfolding opportunities of the 21st century. This would be in accordance with the civilization, historic and cultural links which bind them and their regions.

The two leaders reviewed the status of implementation of the historic Delhi Declaration signed on 27/12/1426H corresponding to 27 January 2006, and expressed their satisfaction at the steady expansion of Saudi-India relations since the signing of the Delhi Declaration. They re-emphasized the importance of full implementation of the Delhi Declaration through the exchange of the visit at the ministerial and, official, business, academia, media and other levels.

Keeping in view the development of relations between the two countries, and the potential for their further growth, the two leaders decided to raise their cooperation to strategic partnership covering security, economic, defense and political areas.

'The Two leaders reiterated their mutual desire to develop as knowledge-based economies based on advances in the area of information technology, space science and other frontier technologies. They welcomed the agreements signed between the two sides in the field of Research and Education, Information Technology and Services, Science and Technology, and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

Both leaders emphasized the importance of developing a broad-based economic partnership that reflects the ongoing transformation of their economies, and the changes such transformation are bringing about in the global economic order, including continuous coordination within the framework of the G-20 process. They welcomed the outcome of the 8th session of the Joint Commission for Economic, Trade, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation held in Riyadh in October, 2009.

The two leaders stressed on continuing to work towards strengthening their strategic partnership by meeting the two countries' vast requirements relating to infrastructure, energy and development, by augmenting the flow of their investments into each other's countries, and enhancing the bilateral trade in accordance with the potential and size of their economies. In this regard, the two leaders invited the private sector in the two countries and Saudi-India Business Council to increase their efforts to take advantage of the investment opportunities provided by the two countries.

The two leaders further emphasized the importance of strengthening the strategic energy partnership based on integration and interdependence, as outlined in the Delhi Declaration, including meeting India's increasing requirement of crude oil supplies, and identifying and implementing specific projects for cooperation including in the areas of new and renewable energy. India invited Saudi Arabia to participate in the Crude storage facilities in India. They directed the Joint Working Group on Energy to continue adopting all appropriate means to achieve the same.

The Two leaders agreed on the role and importance of the youth in consolidating and strengthening the relations between their peoples, and directed the concerned authorities to prepare necessary programs for activating this role in the framework of Memorandum of Cooperation in the educational field signed between the two countries in 2006, and also providing all necessary facilities to their students studying in both countries.

The two leaders mandated the Saudi-India Joint Commission to continue follow up of the implementation of this Declaration to build this strategic partnership.

The Prime Minister of India expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the excellent efforts made and services provided by the Saudi authorities to the Hajj and Umrah pilgrims from India.

'The Two leaders welcomed the level of existing cooperation in defense fields between the concerned authorities in the two countries, and agreed to continue strengthening this cooperation in a way that realizes their common interests.

The two leaders noted that tolerance, religious harmony and brotherhood, irrespective of faith or ethnic background, were part of the principle and values of both countries. These are the same principles advocated by the initiatives of the Custodian of the Two holy Mosques for Dialogue among different faiths and beliefs.

The Two leaders renewed condemnation of the phenomena of terrorism, extremism and violence affirming that it is global and threatens all societies and is not linked to any race, color or belief. The international community must, therefore, resolutely combat terrorism. The two sides agreed to enhance cooperation in exchange of information relating to terrorist activities, money-laundering, narcotics, arms and human trafficking, and develop joint strategies to combat these threats.

They welcomed the signing of the Extradition treaty and agreement on transfer of sentenced persons.

In the course of discussions on regional and international issues, the peace process in the Middle East was high on the agenda. The two leaders reviewed ongoing efforts and the latest developments, and expressed hope for early resumption of the peace process in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, and the Arab Peace Plan with a view to address all key issues of the dispute comprehensively and within a definite timeframe leading to the establishment of a sovereign, independent , united and viable Palestinian State, in accordance with the two state solution.

The two leaders emphasized that continued building of settlements by Israel constitutes a fundamentals stumbling block for peace process.

The two leaders emphasized the importance of regional and international efforts focusing on making the Middle East and Gulf Region free of all nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction.

The two leaders reiterated their support for ongoing international efforts to resolve the issues relating to Iran's nuclear programs peacefully through dialogue and called for continuation of these efforts. They encouraged Iran to respond to those efforts in order to remove regional and international doubts about nuclear programs, especially as these ensure the right of Iran and other countries to peaceful uses of nuclear energy according to the yardsticks and procedures of international Atomic Energy and under its supervision.

Meanwhile, King Saud University awarded Indian Prime Minister Manmohan SINGH an honorary doctorate certificate.

This came during the Indian official's visit to the university.

Following a speech ceremony in which Saudi-Indian relations were highlighted, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the university and the Indian Institute of Sciences.

The Prime Minister of Republic of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh paid a visit to Majlis Al-Shoura within the framework of his current visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Upon arrival, he was received by Speaker of Majlis Al-Shoura Sheikh Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh, Majlis' Deputy Speaker Dr. Bandar bin Mohammed Hamzah Hajjar; Assistant Speaker Dr. Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al-Barrak; Secretary-General of Majlis Dr. Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Ghamdi; Majlis' Member and Chairman of Saudi-Indian Parliamentary Friendship Committee Dr. Rashed Bin Hamad Al-Kathiri.

Dr. Singh and Dr. Al Al-Sheikh held a meeting and discussed issues of common concern, ways of enhancement of bilateral relations between the two countries in various fields, especially in parliamentary area.

The Indian Prime Minister expressed his best wishes of steady progress for Majlis Al-Shoura for the achievement of development and prosperity for Saudi citizens under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the Crown Prince and the Second Deputy Premier.

After the meeting, the Majlis Speaker and Dr. Singh went to Majlis Hall to deliver speeches.

Following is the text of the speech of Speaker of the Majlis Al-Shoura (Consultative Council) on the occasion of the visit of His Excellency the Prime Minister of the Republic of India to the Majlis Al-Shoura.

'Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Peace and prayer be upon the noblest of the prophets and messengers, Prophet Mohammed and his family and companions.

Your Excellency, Mr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of the friendly Republic of India.

The Shoura Council, presidency, officials and members are pleased to welcome your Excellency and your companions on this visit which expresses your high interest and admiration of this council.

Mr. Prime Minister,

You are aware of the important role and great functions undertaken by the Shoura Councils in the parliamentary affairs world-wide which embodies an important tributary for governments' endeavors.

Majlis Al-Shoura in Saudi Arabia exercises the regulatory and oversight function, where it overlooks in the rules and regulations, studies plans and strategies and discusses the conventions and treaties with other countries and organizations.

Moreover, the Council studies government agencies performance reports, and it requests the presence of ministers and officials to discuss the agencies' performance and workflow.

Hence the Council has a vital role to play in the development and reform process aiming at serving the country and meeting the hopes of citizens.

'Your Excellency,

Now the Shoura Council is living its modern era since the update of its regulations eighteen years ago. These days the Shoura Council is emerging into the second year of its fifth-run of the new formation. The Shoura (consultation) is a basic principle of the governance principles in the Islamic Sharia (Islamic divine law).

Consultation has a long history in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and extends for about eighty-five years since Late King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman established this state pillars.

During this era of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the Shoura Council is living a massive move of quality in all trends.

Your Excellency,

Nowadays, the Council enjoys the confidence and the appreciation of the houses of parliament in friendly and brotherly countries.

It has become an active member in the international and regional parliament unions.

It enjoys full membership in the IPU and the Arab, Islamic and Asian parliaments. Through those unions, the Council plays an influential and important role. The Shoura Council attaches a great importance to develop and promote the relationship with various parliaments of the world through the parliamentary friendship committees. One of these committees is the Saudi-Indian friendship committee. The Shoura Council is looking forward to more cooperation with the Indian parliament to serve better mutual interests of both countries and to promote them.

'Your Excellency,

The relationship between the nations of the Gulf and India is ancient and historical extended over a thousand years when the Gulf convoys traveled to India for trades. This led to the establishment of what is known as the Silk Road which helped the establishment of relationship based on cooperation and common interests.

Today it seems that this Road has enforced its role and its influence is growing to include all forms of cooperation due to the desire of both Saudi Arabia and India to build relationships more firm and active.

The Kingdom enjoys a good and active relationships with lots of countries and by the grace of Allah possesses a religious, political and economic status for its Islamic location and it contains the two Holy Mosques and the Holy Places and as such it cares for Islam and Muslims in the world. And for its ties with countries of the world, it is promoted through relationships based on mutual respect, commitment to UN principles, as well as for its economic status as the largest oil exporter, and as an effective member in the economic twenty group. The Kingdom is witnessing an accelerating growth in the investment sector. Therefore, the Kingdom is always looking for more effective partnership that promotes development and cooperation with friendly and brotherly countries, especially those countries witnessing progress and development in the field of industry, science and technology as the Republic of India which became today an important and effective nation in the equation of the international economy with its political and strategic weight on both Asian and global levels.

Although the cooperation between the two countries reached an advanced level, however, it will be increased much further due to your Excellency’s visit following the boost of the bilateral relations due to the historical visit made by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz to India in January 2006.

It was one of the first visits made by King Abdullah after taking the reins of power as a belief in the prominent status of your country on the continental level and internationally. This visit has helped pushing forward the relations between the two countries to a higher promotion-level of cooperation. The commercial exchange increased between the two countries to reach about $27 billion in the year 2008.

'Your Excellency,

The world is still living under different conflicts threatening its peace and security. And there are unresolved international issues until this moment because of the failure to comply with United Nations resolutions and commitment to international laws.

Israel continues to exercise intransigence towards peace initiatives launched by the Arabs, and the latest of which is launched by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and adopted by the League of the Arab states in 2002. Although eight years have passed since the launching of the initiative, Israel continues aggression, raises tensions in the area and hinders peace efforts.

In this regard, we pay tribute to the Republic of India's stands towards the international issues. Realizing this approach will contribute to the efforts of bringing stability and peace in the world. And now allow me to pay tribute to the vital role played by the Republic of India in Asia. We are confident that India along with the countries of this continent is keen on the prevalence of harmony and peace in this important area of the world.

Finally, I would like to assure your Excellency that Shoura Council, while being aware of the importance of the relation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of India, it will do everything possible to strengthen the relationship.

Moreover, it will support all positive cooperation enhancing the relations between the two countries.

I, once again, welcome your Excellency and your honorable companions to Shoura Council and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which holds for India, its leadership and people, all respect and adoration.

Assalam Alaikum.'

Following is the text of speech of the India's Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh delivered at Majlis Al-Shoura:

'Your Excellency Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh, the Speaker of the Majlis Al-Shoura,

Distinguished Members of the Majlis Al-Shoura,

Distinguished Guests,

I am deeply grateful and privileged to have this opportunity to address the Majlis Al-Shoura. This august body has come to symbolize participative governance in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The members of the Majlis Al-Shoura have among them some of the best minds in the Kingdom, representing different segments of Saudi Arabia's rich culture and society. I am, therefore, deeply conscious of the honor done to me and to India by inviting me to address this august House.

Saudi Arabia is the cradle of Islam and the land of revelation of the Holy Quran. I have come to ancient land with a message of peace, brotherhood and friendship. I bring to you the fraternal greetings of the people of India.

'India regards Saudi Arabia as a pillar of stability in the Gulf region. Under the enlightened and sagacious leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Kingdom has taken rapid strides towards modernization. Its influence today extends far beyond the region.

As I stand before you, I am conscious of the wealth of history behind us, and the promise of a new partnership ahead of us.

We are two nations linked by the waterways of the Indian Ocean. Over 5,000 years ago, ships made with teak from Kerala freely traversed the waters of the Indian Ocean and linked the people of Sindh, Gujarat, and Malabar with the different ports of the Gulf and the Red Sea, going up to Basra and Alexandria.

Commercial enterprises and exchange of foodstuffs and cloth for dates and pearls provided the basis for the development of deep people-to-people ties. Indian townships mushroomed across the Gulf. Arab traders established themselves along the coastline of western India. Our languages were influenced by each other. These linkages, over several centuries, have left an indelible mark upon our culture and civilization. This is reflected in the natural empathy and sense of comfort we have when we meet each other.

Islam qualitatively changed the character and personality of the people in Arabia as it enriched the lives of millions of Indians who embraced this faith. It is said that during the reign of the Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan, Indian pilgrims constituted the largest movement of people by sea.

Indian Muslim scholars went to Makkah in order to learn Islamic theology. Arab Muslim scholars came to India to learn mathematics, science, astronomy and philosophy. These exchanges led to the widespread diffusion of knowledge in sciences, arts, religion and philosophy.

'Today, Islam is an integral part of India's nationhood and ethos and of the rich tapestry of its culture. India has made significant contributions to all aspects of Islamic civilization. Centers of Islamic learning in India have made a seminal contribution to Islamic and Arabic studies.

Our 160 million Muslims are contributing to our nation building efforts and have excelled in all walks of life. We are proud of our composite culture and of our tradition of different faiths and communities living together in harmony.

The foundations of our relations in the modern era were laid during the visit of late King Saud bin Abdulaziz to India in 1955 and Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's visit to the Kingdom in 1956. These foundations were strengthened by the visit of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to Saudi Arabia in 1982.

The tone of our relations in the 21st century was set by the landmark visit to India of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz in January 2006. The King's participation as the chief guest at our Republic Day celebrations was a matter of deep honor for the people of India.

The Delhi Declaration that I signed with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques enshrines our shared vision for a new relationship. Our two countries pledged to work not just for the development and prosperity of our peoples but for the security and peace of the region as a whole.

My dialogue with the King and my meetings with the other distinguished leaders of this great country have led to the reaffirmation of our close ties and our common interests.

We have agreed to impart a strategic character to our relations, and have put in place a roadmap for bilateral economic, political and security related cooperation that will constitute the core of our relationship in the coming years.

'India is in the midst of rapid socio-economic transformation. Over the last five years, our economy has grown at an average annual rate of 9 percent. Despite the global economic slowdown, we hope to achieve a growth rate of about 7.5 percent in the current financial year.

In the next 25 years, we aspire to have growth rates of between 9 to 10 percent annually. This will enable us to lift millions of people of poverty and transform India into one of the largest economies of the world. India looks to the future with confidence and hope.

Saudi Arabia is itself witnessing remarkable progress as the vision of its leaders to modernize and diversify its economy becomes a reality.

There is vast potential for cooperation between our two countries based on our inherent strength and complementarities.

We seek Saudi investment in a range of sectors from infrastructure and manufacturing to services and hospitality sectors. Equally, Indian industry is ready to take advantage of many opportunities that are opening up in IT, banking, telecommunications, pharmaceutical and hydrocarbon sectors in Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom is one of India's major trading partners. Our bilateral trade has registered unprecedented growth in recent years and stood at over 25 billion US dollars in 2008-2009. We are looking at ways and means of expanding our traditionally strong collaboration in the energy sector.

Saudi Arabia is home to the largest Indian community abroad numbering about 1.8 million. Indian workers and professionals have participated in the extraordinary development of this region. Indeed, it would be difficult to identify a major project in this region with which Indians have not been involved in some way or the other.

As many as 165,000 Indian pilgrims perform Hajj annually. This is the second largest group from any single country. A similar number perform Umrah annually. We are grateful for the warm welcome that the Kingdom has given to the Indian community and to our pilgrims.

'We have noted the high priority given to the development of human resources in the future development of Saudi Arabia. We would like to see more contacts among our parliamentarians, scholars, scientists, and students to renew the intellectual bonds between India and West Asia.

In addition to these areas of cooperation, there is a scope for considerable expansion of our interactions in the political, defense and security spheres.

West Asia is a vital part of India's extended neighborhood. We have deep and intricate ties with Gulf countries. We have a high stake in the peace and stability of the region. Neither the countries of the region nor the world can afford fresh turmoil.

We sincerely hope that wisdom will prevail and that in the resolution of conflicts and differences, dialogue will triumph over confrontation.

There is no issue more important for peace and stability in the region than the question of Palestine. For far too long the brave people of Palestine have been denied their just, legitimate and inalienable rights, including most of all, the establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable Palestinian state. I wish to pay a special tribute for the King for the initiatives he has taken to bring about a just settlement. We applaud and support the Arab Peace Initiative.

I take this opportunity for reiterating the principled, strong and consistent support of the government and people of Indian for the struggle of the Palestinian people. India has been making a contribution to the development of the Palestinian economy and its human resources and we will continue to do so.

Both our countries are today threatened by extremism and violence. The pursuit of terror in the name of religion or any other cause or grievance can not be acceptable to civilized societies. It has no sanction in any religion. History teaches us that the scourge of terrorism must be confronted with determination and united efforts.

Nowhere is this challenge greater than in Afghanistan. The people of Afghanistan have suffered for far too long. They deserve an atmosphere of peace and the opportunity to pursue a life of dignity and hope.

The government of Afghanistan needs the support of the international community in restoring peace and development in the country.

'The international community should support all sections of Afghan society who wish to work towards the emergence of Afghanistan as a modern, stable and sovereign nation. No sanctuary should be given to those who promote terror, violence or instability in the country.

India wishes to live in peace and friendship with its neighbors. I believe that all countries of South Asia should work to realize a common vision of peace and inclusive development for the region.

We seek cooperative relations with Pakistan. Our objective is a permanent peace because we recognize that we are bound together by a shared future. If there is cooperation between India and Pakistan, vast opportunities will open up for trade, travel, and development that will create prosperity in both countries and in South Asia as a whole. But to realize this vision, Pakistan must act decisively against terrorism. If Pakistan cooperates with India, there is no problem that we cannot solve and we can walk the extra mile to open a new chapter in relations between our two countries.

We live in a world where the interests of peoples and countries are intertwined. As two countries representing old civilizations, India and Saudi Arabia should work together to promote dialogue and peaceful coexistence among nations, religions and societies. We should work together as partners in shaping the global discourse on issues such as energy security, climate change and terrorism. We should cooperate to deal with regional challenges such as maritime security, piracy, narcotics, human trafficking and other non-traditional threats to security.

The Kingdom and the region are blessed with the benevolence and statesmanship of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. Our two peoples are desirous of peace and goodwill. Together, India and Saudi Arabia can become a potent moral force for a better world and for a more secure future for our children.

I thank you for your attention.'