Explained: India's Complaint To The Saudis Over 20 Riyal Banknote

The note, issued by Saudi Arabia to mark their ongoing presidency of the G20, depicts distorted borders of J&K

India has formally registered its protest to Saudi Arabia over a 20 Riyal bank note issued by the Kingdom that shows Jammu & Kashmir outside of India.

This was stated by the official spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, Anurag Srivastava, in his weekly briefing in a response to questions posed by various journalists over if and how India has taken up the matter with Saudi Arabia.

"We have conveyed our serious concerns to Saudi Arabia, both through their ambassador in New Delhi and as well as in Riyadh and we have taken up this gross misrepresentation of India's territorial boundaries on a official and legal banknote of Saudi Arabia . We've asked the Saudi side to take urgent corrective steps in this regard."

- Anurag Srivastava, Spokesperson, MEA

He then goes on reiterate that Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh remain integral parts of India. The statement can be seen below.

The G20 Leader's Summit for this year to be held in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on November 21 and 22, and this piece of friction has surfaced a little more than 3 weeks before the meeting. Here's all to know about the issue.

About the banknote

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, the central bank of Saudi Arabia, launched the 20 riyal banknote to commemorate the kingdom's ongoing presidency of the G20. A statement by SAMA states that these notes have been put into circulation from October 25, with the front of the note having the logo of Saudi's presidency.

The statement further states,

"The back of the banknote carries a map of the world, depicting the G20 countries in a different color. Notably, Saudi Arabia's map appears with emanated beams symbolizing the meeting venue of countries and the importance of the Kingdom as a source of civilization and economic emission."


The backside of the note can be seen in the video below. Initially, the video shows the world on a transparent background having national demarcation; with the map of Gilgit - Balistan standing out. The region is shown separate from India, and notably, also from Pakistan. The transparent background then fades into the world map on the back of the banknote, as referred to in the statement, and the countries of the G20 are marked in dark purple. India is a member of the G20, and all of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh cannot be seen with the Indian purple outline.

The video was originally put out as promotional material by SAMA to publicize the launch of the note.

Pakistan is yet to publicly announce if it has raised any objection on the issue.

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