New Delhi: Saudi Arabia views India as an important country with which it can do business and forge security ties in order to deal with terrorism and piracy, Saudi Arabian envoy Saud Mohammed Al-Sati said here on Friday.
Bilateral trade between the two countries is reaching $49 billion mark and his country is working towards making the investment environment more hospitable to further strengthen trade ties with India, said Al-Sati during a talk on developments in West Asia, particularly about the situation in Yemen, at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA).
Reflecting on India-Saudi Arabia relations, he said that both nations enjoy cordial and friendly relations, reflecting the centuries-old economic and socio-cultural ties. Trade, manpower and political interactions are the dominant factors for further strengthening the ties between the two nations, he noted.
The envoy said that Saudi Arabia and India also share a strong bond in the energy sector, with Saudi Arabia emerging as a reliable source of oil to India.
Commenting on Yemen crisis, he said that Saudi Arabia has strong social, cultural and economic relations with Yemen and his nation along with the other GCC countries would want to see the end of the crisis soon, according to a press release by the IDSA.
Although ceasefire in Yemen will be an ideal first step to dialogue, but given conflicting positions of the warring factions, it can only be achieved if the Houthi rebels refrain from further aggression and surrender their weapons. They should accept and support the legitimate government of Yemen to ensure complete peace, he said.
On the Iranian role in the Yemen crisis, Al-Sati said that the Houthi rebel fighters' successful coup in Yemen is primarily due to the ideological support and technical training that Iran has been offering them.
Reacting to a comment that Saudi Arabia and Iran should come together for peace and development in the region, he said that Iran has to find a way of cooperating with other players in the region and putting an end to its policy of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.
He declined to accept the proposition that ongoing crisis in the entire region was buffeted by Shia-Sunni sectarian divide and held that wrong policies of states were responsible for it.