India has expressed “grave concern” to Saudi Arabia over a recently issued banknote with “incorrect representation of India’s external territorial borders,” the Foreign Ministry said Thursday. The note appeared to exclude Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh from India.
“The note was issued by the Saudi Monetary Authority on October 24 to mark the occasion of the Saudi presidency of the G20,” the foreign ministry said at a briefing.
“We have expressed our grave concern to Saudi Arabia, both through its ambassador in New Delhi and in Riyadh, for this blatant distortion of India’s external territorial borders on an official and legal ticket. of Saudi Arabia and called on the Saudi side to take urgent corrective action in this regard, ”he said.
“I would like to reiterate further that entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are an integral part of India,” the ministry spokesman said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attempted to woo Saudi Arabia in recent years, bolstering trade ties and with wider diplomatic overtures in an effort to pressure Pakistan, one of the Arab nation’s closest allies.
Last year, he broke government protocol to personally greet Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at New Delhi airport.
The move was hailed as “a new chapter in bilateral relations” by the then Foreign Ministry spokesman who tweeted a photo of the couple warmly shaking hands on the steps of the prince’s plane .
On a visit later that year, Prime Minister Modi met King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Crown Prince and signed a series of energy deals. India, the world‘s third largest consumer of oil, is a key customer of Saudi Arabia.