India and Saudi Arabia have for long been enjoying a mutual respect and strong bond of friendship. However, a recent event seems to have worked in bringing an abrasiveness to it. A recent banknote released by Saudi Arabia, has distorted India's map and thereby led India to express their unhappiness and approach Saudi to get it corrected immediately. A new 20 Riyal Saudi banknote was issued by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority on October 24th, to mark Saudi ascending the Presidency of the G-20. A map displayed on the note, has seemed to depict the Indian regions of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, as independent territories. On coming to know of this, the Indian foreign ministry termed it as a gross misrepresentation of India's boundaries and reaffirmed that both Jammu & Kashmir as well as Ladakh were integral parts of India!

The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava has stated, "We have seen the bank note referred by you, which gives an incorrect depiction of India's external boundaries." He added, "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 as an official and legal banknote of Saudi Arabia and asked the Saudi side for taking urgent corrective steps in this regard!" Some reports state that the Saudi authorities have denied the banknote to be making any cartographic assertion. However, India has still asked for the map to be immediately corrected. The issue is currently being handled on diplomatic levels and is expected to get this issue resolved at the earliest!

The G-20, a global outfit for international cooperation, will be convening on November 21 and 22 and this will be a virtual meeting. This issue between India and Saudi has now cast a shadow over the preparations for this meet. As per the depiction of the map on the Riyal banknote, Kashmir is depicted as a separate entity, between India and Pakistan. The map also seems to depict the areas of Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir as areas outside the Pakistan control. It remains to be seen if Pakistan has also taken up this issue with Saudi Arabia! On one side, the Riyal note features the Saudi king Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud and the 2020 G-20 summit logo with the other remaining G-20 countries on the other side. Stay tuned for updates...