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  • 01 January, 2023

  • 6 Min Read

India - Saudi Arabia Relations

India - Saudi Arabia Relations

  • Recently, India and Saudi Arabia explored establishing a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) in order to formally cooperate with one another in criminal case investigations.
  • India has already signed MLATs with 45 nations and is currently negotiating MLATs with Germany and Italy.
  • The only other nation except for Saudi Arabia without an MLAT or any other bilateral arrangement with India to assist such inquiries is Pakistan.

What is MLAT?

  • It is a mechanism through which nations work together to offer and obtain official assistance in the prevention, suppression, investigation, and prosecution of crime in order to make sure that criminals do not evade or thwart the due process of law due to a lack of evidence available in various nations.
  • In India, petitions for reciprocal legal help in criminal cases are handled by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The reciprocal arrangements that must be made between the Central Government and the Foreign Governments with regard to the delivery of summonses, warrants, and legal procedures are described in Section 105 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
  • On the basis of the evidence acquired through the mutual agreement, the signing of the treaty would assist in obtaining a conviction for an accused party in a court of law.
  • On India's request, Saudi Arabia has in the past extradited a number of terrorist suspects.

How have relations between Saudi Arabia and India been?

Oil & Gas:

  • Iraq has historically been India's leading crude oil supplier, with Saudi Arabia currently occupying that position.
  • Around 18% of India's crude oil needs and 22% of its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) needs are met by imports from Saudi Arabia.
  • Saudi Arabia will provide assistance to Saudi Aramco, Adnoc of the United Arab Emirates, and Indian public sector oil corporations as they build the largest greenfield refinery in the world at Raigarh in Maharashtra.


  • Saudi Arabia is India's fourth-largest trading partner on a bilateral basis (after the USA, China and UAE).
  • Bilateral trade had a value of USD 42.8 billion in the fiscal year 2021–2022

Political Relations:

  • Following the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1947, both countries' high-level representatives visited one another.
  • The historic visit of King Abdullah to India in 2006 was a turning point that led to the adoption of the "Delhi Declaration," which gave the two countries' relations a new lease on life.
  • The prestigious Saudi National Festival of Heritage and Culture had its 32nd edition in 2018, India attended as a "Guest of Honor" with great success.
  • In Saudi Arabia, yoga was listed as a "sports activity."
  • Another significant element of bilateral relations is the Haj pilgrimage.

Naval Training:

  • The Al-Mohed Al-Hindi Drill, a first-ever naval joint exercise between India and Saudi Arabia, began in 2021.

Indian Diaspora:

  • Saudi Arabia's 2.6 million-strong Indian community is the country's largest foreign population and is regarded as the "most favored community" because of their knowledge, discipline, and commitment to upholding the law and promoting peace.


  • Middle Eastern politics are intricate and multifaceted, necessitating a coordinated and group effort.
  • The rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Turkey could cause issues for India.
  • Iran-Saudi Arabia Rivalry: India maintains close ties with both Iran and Saudi Arabia.
  • India has yet to figure out how to balance its ties with Saudi Arabia and the United States on the one hand, and Iran on the other.

Way Forward

  • India might take advantage of its cordial relations with Saudi Arabia by persuading the country to use its clout with Pakistan to restrain the Taliban in Afghanistan.
  • Southwest Asia will change as a result of both economies working together.
  • The pace of India and Saudi Arabia's defence cooperation has greatly increased.
  • With the Gulf area seeing fast change, the two nations' defence ties are strengthening.

Source: The Hindu

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