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Ahead of G20 summit, Saudi Arabia acts on India`s concerns over issue on incorrect map, likely to withdraw banknote soon

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New Delhi: Ahead of the G20 summit, Saudi Arabia is acting on India’s concerns over the issue on the incorrect map, sources confirming the development said on Friday. The sources added that Saudi Arabia is also likely to withdraw the banknote soon.

In October, India had conveyed its serious concern to Saudi Arabia over “gross misrepresentation” of its external territorial boundaries in a banknote issued and asked it to take “urgent corrective steps”, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said.

The global map printed on the new 20 Riyal currency, released to mark Saudi Arabia’s Presidency of the G20 grouping, does not feature Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as part of India.

India had conveyed its strong concern via Saudi Ambassador in New Delhi as well as at Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia’s Monetary Authority had issued the new note on October 24.

Saudi Arabia is acting on India’s concerns, said the sources confirming the development. It said, “Saudi Arabia is taking action.” The action includes no circulation of the note and withdrawing it soon as well. 

The first-ever virtual G20 summit will take place on November 21-22. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be representing India at the meet whose host is Saudi Arabia for 2020. The summit is taking place virtually due to the pandemic.

India had asked Saudi Arabia to take “corrective steps” on the new currency note. MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had asserted that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are integral parts of the country.

“We have seen the banknote referred by you which gives an incorrect depiction of India’s external territorial boundaries. The note was issued by Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority on October 24 to mark the occasion of Saudi presidency of the G20,” Srivastava had said during a weekly media briefing.

“We have conveyed our serious concern to Saudi Arabia, both through their Ambassador in New Delhi as well as in Riyadh, for this gross misrepresentation of India’s external territorial boundaries on an official and legal banknote of Saudi Arabia and asked the Saudi side to take urgent corrective steps in this regard,” he had said.

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Srivastava had said, “I would like to further reiterate that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are integral parts of India.”

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