Space diplomacy: India plans space pact with Saudi, pushes key projects with Quad nations

By Times Of India

To boost space diplomacy, India and Saudi Arabia have held discussions on initiating cooperation in space science and technology, and explored the possibility of a space pact. Also, New Delhi has given a boost to space ties with Quad countries — the US, Japan and Australia — in the last few weeks.

Isro had held separate meetings or talks with Japanese space agency JAXA, Nasa and Australian Space Agency (ASA) recently to give push to several key programmes like joint lunar mission, earth imaging satellite programme (NISAR), navigation satellite and establishing a transportable terminal in Australia to help the Gaganyaan mission.

On Wednesday, Isro chairman K Sivan and president of board of directors of the Saudi Space Commission, Prince Sultan bin Salman, led the space meeting on virtual mode. “Both had discussions on initiating space cooperation in areas of mutual interest. The possibility of concluding a country-level MoU for space cooperation was also discussed,” an Isro statement said.

In December last, India’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ausaf Sayeed had held talks with Prince Sultan bin Salman in Riyadh to boost cooperation in remote sensing, satellite communication and satellite-based navigation projects.

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