‘India-Saudi relations reaching new heights’: Dr Suhel Ajaz Khan

News Network
March 4, 2023

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Riyadh: Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan, Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, asserted that the bilateral relationship between two countries is strong and fast enhancing to its height. 

He was addressing the Indian diaspora at a function organized by the Indian community at Hotel Crown Plaza (old Riyadh Palace) in Riyadh-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia last week. He was given felicitation and accorded with the warm welcome by the Indian community.  

“In terms of trade and commerce, the KSA is the 4th largest partner of India; the KSA has been a traditionally strongest strategic partner in the energy… As a bilateral partner, there was a worth more than US$ 42 billion trades in 2021-2022; our export to the KSA has been constantly increasing & it's expected to increase by 25% in one year between 2021-22 & 2022-23; there has been a rapid leap in the relation between India & KSA with regard to the defense sector too..." he elucidated. 

The Ambassador said that he was appointed as a head of the Indian Embassy-KSA at an exciting time when the Indo-Saudi relationship is being augmented. 

Dr Khan asserted that the Kingdom is swiftly being transformed to a new pinnacle in line with the Vision-2030, a brainchild conceived by the Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister for the overall development of the KSA. 

India and the Kingdom reached a great milestone in their strategic partnership. Trade, commerce, education, technology, health, investment & energy are some of the sectors where the two countries partnered to the next level of positive growth and development. 

Further, he stated that a cultural bridge has also been built to open up an ambience enabling Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Amitha Bachan & other cine stars to make their debut appearances on the stage in the KSA.  

Dr Khan voiced his immense appreciations for the contributions of the Indian community, who comprised of more than 2.5 million, towards the progressive development of the KSA. He also expressed his earnest pleasure and gratification for the wholehearted gestures the Saudi Arabian leaderships offered to India.  

Dr Khan resumed his office in Riyadh in January this year. Earlier, he was serving as the Indian Ambassador to Lebanon. 

There were more than 300 Indian invitees, who attended in the 'Welcoming Ceremony'. Various organizations like Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, Andhra, Bihar, Associations, Tamil Sangam represented by Ahmed Imtiyaz, AMU Alumni Association etc, Social/community workers & known individuals in the KSA have welcomed & applauded him by garlanding, offering shawls, presenting boutiques on the occasion.

Karanataka represented by Santosh Shetty, Dr Vanishree Santosh Shetty, Dr Anwar Kurshid, Nelson D'Souza, Usman Gulvadi, Dr P A Hameed Padubidri, Francis Kota, Rajesh Kumar, Pavitra Shetty, Ashraf Kozi (JDS), Dr Kyzer, Viraj Shetty, Jagdish Belchada, Shahul Hameed in Riyadh were present on the occasion to welcome the Ambassador. 

Mohammad Zaigham Khan Convener of All India Steering Committee, Shihab Kottukad, Satish and other heads of the various organizations were also there to witness the program. Saleem Tamil Nadu, Mehamoona Abbas and other duos were there to read out the names of the bouquet presenters on the occasion.

(With inputs from Dr P A Hameed Padubidri)

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News Network
April 17,2024

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Russian President Vladimir Putin says Iran’s “tactful and wise” response to Israeli aggression on its consulate in Syria was the best way to punish the aggressor.

Putin made the remarks in a phone conversation with President Ebrahim Raeisi on Tuesday.

“What the Islamic Republic of Iran did in response to what happened criminally and in the light of the inaction of the [UN] Security Council, was the best way to punish the aggressor and represented the tactfulness and rationality of Iran's politicians,” Putin said.

The Russian president said the Israeli regime’s “terrorist act” against the Iranian consulate in Damascus was against all international standards and rules.

He also strongly criticized the United States and certain Western countries for creating tension in the region. “We believe that the Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the main pillars of stability and security in the region.”

“We firmly declare that we will respond to any action against Iran's interests with greater force and broader and more painful than the previous [response],” President Raeisi said in the phone call.

The Iranian president also said Tehran's response to the Israeli regime was within the framework of international law, saying Israel’s terrorist act was a clear violation of international law and a serious threat to global peace.

“The destructive role of the US and some western countries and the inaction and inefficiency of international institutions, including the United Nations and the Security Council, in dealing with the aggressive action of the Zionist regime in attacking the Iranian consulate in Syria caused the Islamic Republic of Iran to exercise its right to self-defense.”

Raeisi further thanked Moscow for its “principled and constructive” stance against the Israeli aggression in Damascus. 

He appreciated the diplomatic efforts of the Russian government to thwart the conspiracies of the United States and certain Western countries in the UN Security Council.

“To those countries that have adopted double standards in the face of the crimes of the Zionist regime and express concerns about escalating tensions in the region, we advise them to rather stop supporting the Zionists genocide and crimes against the oppressed Palestinian people to preserve peace and stability in the region,” Raeisi said.

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) launched extensive missile and drone strikes against the occupied territories late on April 13 in response to Israel’s missile attack on the consular section of the Iranian embassy in Damascus.

Operation True Promise has inflicted damage on Israeli military bases across the occupied territories. The extent of damage is yet to be specified. 

Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a commander of the IRGC Quds Force, his deputy, General Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, and five of their accompanying officers were assassinated in the Israeli attack on Iran’s diplomatic mission.

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News Network
April 12,2024

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New Delhi, Apr 12: India on Friday asked its citizens not to travel to Iran or Israel amid escalating tensions between the two countries following a strike on the Iranian consulate in Syria 11 days ago.

Iran blamed Israel for the strike and there have been fears that Tehran may launch an attack on Israel soon.

In an advisory, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) also urged the Indians residing in Iran and Israel to exercise utmost precautions about their safety and restrict their movements to minimum.

“In view of the prevailing situation in the region, all Indians are advised not to travel to Iran or Israel till further notice,” it said.

“All those who are currently residing in Iran or Israel are requested to get in touch with Indian Embassies there and register themselves,” the MEA said.

“They are also requested to observe utmost precautions about their safety and restrict their movements to the minimum,” it added. 

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News Network
April 16,2024

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New Delhi:  Twenty-nine Maoists, including a senior rebel leader - Shankar Rao, who had a bounty of ₹ 25 lakh on his head - were killed by security forces during an encounter in Chhattisgarh's Kanker district on Tuesday afternoon. A huge quantity of weapons, including Ak-47 and INSAS rifles, were recovered. 

Three security personnel were injured in the gunfight, which took place in forests near the village of Binagunda after a joint team of District Reserve Guard and Border Security Force were attacked.

Two of the three injured are from the BSF. Their condition is stable but the third - from the DRG - is in critical care. All three received treatment at a local hospital and are to be shifted to a larger facility.

Sources said the fighting began at around 2 PM, when a joint DRG-BSF team was conducting an anti-Maoist operation. The DRG was set up in in 2008 to combat Maoist activities in the state, and the Border Security Force has been deployed extensively in the area to for counter-insurgency ops.

There was another encounter in the district last month, in which two people - a Maoist and a cop - were killed, and security forces recovered a gun, some explosives, and other incriminating materials.

Personnel from the DRG and Bastar Fighters, both units of the state police force, with the Border Security Force, were involved in that operation, officials told news agency PTI. The patrolling team was cordoning off a forested area when fired on indiscriminately, leading to the gun battle.

In November last year, while the state was voting in the first phase of an Assembly election, a gunfight broke out between security forces and Maoist rebels in the same district.

An Ak-47 rifle was recovered from the encounter site.

On the same day, while polling was taking place, Maoists fired at DRG personnel deployed near a polling station in Banda in Dantewada district.

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