By Arab News
By Ghazanfar Ali Khan
Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held wide-ranging talks with several world leaders in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou on the sidelines of the G20 summit on Sunday.
The deputy crown prince’s talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, US Secretary of State John Kerry, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indonesian President Joko Widodo focused on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues.
After meeting the world leaders, the deputy crown prince expressed hope that “the G20 summit will help chart a course for the world economy and boost global growth.”
He said that closer consultations with allies are important for solving global problems and also for reaching solutions to the problems facing the Middle East region.
The deputy crown prince was also scheduled to explain the “Vision 2030” to world leaders and decision-makers, currently attending the summit.
The delegation of the Kingdom to the G20 is led by the deputy crown prince who was received by Chinese President Xi Jinping on arrival at the summit venue.
Commemorative photos were also taken for the deputy crown prince and leaders of the summit.
The summit started with a call made by Chinese President Xi not to indulge in “empty talks,” rather to work out substantial prescriptions for global economic woes.
Xi said that the international society looks forward to seeing the G20 summit play a positive role in boosting the global economy and enhancing international economic cooperation.
China and Saudi Arabia are both important G20 members and emerging economies. The Kingdom today ranks among the top investment destinations in the world besides being a reliable partner in overcoming global economic challenges, that have hampered the momentum of growth, peace and security.
Referring to his talks with Russian President, the deputy crown prince said: “The Kingdom and Russia are working closely to prevent ugly situations in the Middle East.”
He said that Riyadh regards its cooperation with Kremlin as a priority.
“We also want to spin the wheel of economic cooperation, and not simply ensure that it continues spinning but moves even faster than now,” the deputy crown prince said, as quoted by the Kremlin website.
In fact, cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Russia will bring benefits to the global oil market, the deputy crown prince said.
Putin said that the two countries, the world’s leading oil producers, are seeking ways to prop up a weak oil market; a move which is in the interest of oil producing as well as consuming countries.
“It is important for Russia to maintain a dialogue with Saudi Arabia,” said Putin.
Referring to the subjects discussed by the deputy crown prince and Indian Premier Modi, a report published in a section of Indian press, said that “the two leaders discussed the opportunities of bilateral cooperation and ways of enhancing them in various fields.”
More importantly, they also held discussions on the need for UN Security Council reforms and on ways to boost commercial links, especially in sectors like energy and maritime security.
Modi has been further quoted in the report as saying that the deputy crown prince “is a strong friend of India.” The Indian premier also called for “strengthened partnership with Saudi Arabia in various areas such as infrastructure and low-cost housing.”
He invited greater Saudi investment, mainly through the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), and sought greater cooperation in infrastructure, particularly in modernization of railway stations.
The Indian premier also named India as a stable source of food supply for the Kingdom.
The deputy crown prince also met with British Prime Minister Theresa May on the sidelines of the summit on Sunday. During the meeting, they discussed different aspects of existing Saudi-British cooperation and ways of strengthening them, in addition to the latest developments in regional and international arenas.
In another meeting, the deputy crown prince met Kerry and discussed bilateral relations and issues of common concern.
Top officials accompanying the deputy crown prince also held bilateral meetings in China on Sunday.
Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir held bilateral meetings with Kerry, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
During the meetings, they reviewed bilateral relations and latest developments at regional and international levels, which will be further evaluated by the heads of states of the G20 countries.
Founded in 1999, G20 (Group of 20) is an international forum of 20 major economies including the US, UK, China, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and South Korea.
Only three member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), namely Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Turkey, are members of this powerful G20 forum.