India, Saudi Arabia sign Riyadh Declaration (Lead)

March 1st, 2010 - 7:17 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh By Aroonim Bhuyan
Riyadh, March 1 (IANS) India and Saudi Arabia late Sunday signed Riyadh Declaration to cement ties and to raise bilateral cooperation to a strategic partnership covering security, economic, defence and political areas.

The ‘Riyadh Declaration - A New Era of Strategic Partnership’ was signed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz at a ceremony at the Al Rawad Palace here.

“The two leaders reviewed the status of implementation of the historic Delhi Declaration signed in 2006, and expressed their satisfaction at the steady expansion of Saudi-India relations since the signing of the Delhi Declaration,” the new declaration read.

“They re-emphasised the importance of full implementation of the Delhi Declaration through exchange of visits at ministerial, official, business, academia, media and other levels.”

The Delhi Declaration, signed during the historic visit of King Abdullah to India in 2006, had charted out a new path of cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia across a range of fields including security, bilateral trade and investment, culture, science and technology.

According to the new declaration, 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 a strategic partnership covering security, economic, defence and political areas.

“The two leaders reiterated their mutual desire to develop as knowledge-based economies based on advances in the areas of information technology, space science and other frontier technologies,” it stated.

The two leaders renewed their condemnation of terrorism, stating that it was global and threatened all societies irrespective of race, colour or belief.

“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,” the declaration stated.

Manmohan Singh and King Abdullah also called for preservation of Afghanistan’s sovereignty and independence.

“They supported the efforts of the people of Afghanistan to achieve stability and security, protected from exploitation by terrorist organizations, while upholding the values and principles of the constitution of Afghanistan,” it stated.

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