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Transcript of Sound-Bite by Foreign Secretary on Bilateral Meetings of Prime Minister in Buenos Aires (November 29, 2018)

November 30, 2018

Foreign Secretary, Shri Vijay Gokhale: Prime Minister arrived earlier today in Buenos Aires for the G20 Summit and after his arrival he has had two important bilateral meetings before the summit begins.

The first was the meeting with His Royal Highness Crown Prince, Mohammad Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. It was a very cordial meeting, it was a warm meeting. The Crown Prince spoke of India as an important partner for Saudi Arabia and there was very specific discussion that took place between the two leaders on how Saudi Arabia can enhance its investment across a number of sectors in the next two to three years.

The Crown Prince informed the Prime Minister that Saudi Arabia will be finalizing an initial investment into the National Infrastructure Fund. He also referred to the future prospects for investment in the technology sector, in the agriculture sector and in the energy sector and Prime Minister, in particular, stressed about the importance of having stable and predictable energy prices and some discussions took place between the two leaders on how Saudi Arabia can contribute and help in stabilizing energy prices particularly for India.

The Crown Prince was especially mindful of the contribution that Indians have made in the building of Saudi Arabia over the years and he specifically expressed appreciation for this. Prime Minister, of course, expressed happiness over this and also thanked him for looking after the well-being of our citizens there.

So at the end of the meeting the two leaders have agreed that we will now set up a mechanism at leadership level which will go into the possibilities of concrete action in terms of investment, in terms of technology, in terms of manufacturing across various sectors from energy to food security, to infrastructure and to defence and this mechanism will be worked out shortly and we will expect that in the next two to three years there will be significant scaling up in Saudi investment in India.

The second meeting the Prime Minister had a short while ago was of course with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Gutteres and the main subject of discussion was the forthcoming Climate Change meeting in Katowice in Poland, the so called COP24. The Secretary General specifically acknowledged that India plays a very major role in climate change negotiations.

He acknowledged that Prime Minister has taken a number of very concrete steps towards addressing climate change and he mentioned that International Solar Alliance, he also mentioned that when he was in Delhi last month he had seen for himself the manner in which other campaigns that the Prime Minister has led including the Swachh Bharat campaign was having an impact on environment and it was his sincere hope and expectation that in the forthcoming meeting next week in Poland, India will play a uniting role, it will play the role of a good Samaritan, it will bring together the various groups of developed countries and developing countries, those which have money and those which need money, those which have technology and those which could use technology to come up with certain solutions which would eventually feed into the Climate Change Summit that the Secretary General is planning in 2019.

So it was a good meeting and Prime Minister assured the UN Secretary General that India plays a positive role in Climate Change negotiations, that it is part of Indian culture and civilization to preserve the environment and he should rest assured that India would play its due and responsible role at the COP24 in Katowice.

Thank you.


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