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Iran Press TV

India's Modi says relations with Saudi Arabia moving toward strategic partnership

Iran Press TV

Tue Oct 29, 2019 05:56PM

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that his country is seeking closer energy cooperation with Saudi Arabia despite recent attacks on oil facilities that exposed the kingdom's vulnerability to threats.

While on a visit to the Saudi capital Riyadh, Modi said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia will invest in downstream oil and gas projects in India as the two countries move toward a closer cooperation on energy issues.

"From a purely buyer-seller relationship, we are now moving toward a closer strategic partnership that will include Saudi investments in downstream oil and gas projects," said Modi, according to a statement released by his office which covered his interview to Arab News.

The remarks come more than a month after attacks claimed by a militia-led government in Yemen, Saudi Arabia's southern neighbor, inflicted huge losses on the kingdom's energy sector as they initially cut a daily production of more than 10 million barrels per day in half.

India, a major buyer of the Saudi crude, said following the attacks that it would try to find alternative suppliers of oil as attacks on Saudi Arabia exposed the risks that New Delhi could suffer as a result increasing regional tensions.

However, Saudis and allies in the United Arab Emirates have sought to assure India that they would compensate for the loss in supplies to Indian refineries while they have announced plans for buying major stakes in Indian oil sector companies.

Reports have shown that the Saudi Aramco, the world's biggest oil company, is eyeing multi-billion dollar purchases of shares in major Indian companies, including in Reliance Industries and state-run refinery Bharat Petroleum Corp.

Modi was expected to meet Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman later on Tuesday.

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