India on Thursday has expressed its serious concern to Saudi Arabia over a new Saudi Arabia currency note which does not feature Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as part of the country.The steps must be taken urgently to correct the wrong depiction of the country’s external territorial boundaries, asked the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to gulf nation who issued the new 20 Riyal banknote with global map printed on it.
The new 20 Riyal banknote was issued on October 24 by Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority to mark its nation’s presidency of the G20 grouping.
At a weekly media briefing, the MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that India has conveyed the message to Saudi Arabia, both through their Ambassadors in New Delhi and Riyadh for the gross misinterpretation of the country’s border on their legal banknote, asking Saudi side to take urgent corrective steps in the matter.
Srivastava further reiterated that the entire Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are integral part of India.
As per reports, the global map on the Saudi’s note does not even depict Pakistan-occupied- Kashmir including Gilgit-Baltistan as part of Pakistani territory. The exclusion of the PoK is being taken as a humiliation by many in Islamabad, since the country considers Saudi Arabia its closest ally.
However, in recent years, India has strengthened its trade ties with Saudi Arabia. In 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the nation, during which he met King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown prince and signed energy deals.
The close ties between the Gulf region and India can be attributed to the last year visit of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to India post Pulwama attack in February 2019.
On the other hand, Riyadh’s cut back on financial support for Islamabad has severely affected the relation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.