Saudi Arabian Crown Prince on state visit to India next week
Tuesday - February 12, 2019 10:44 pm , Category : INDIA
New Delhi, Feb 12 (IANS) Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will be on a two-day state visit India next week when he will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a range of issues including energy security, trade and investment and defence.Beginning February 19, it will be first state visit of Prince Salman, who is also the Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Defence Minister, to India. He will hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Modi on wide range of issues of mutual interest. A Ministry of External Affairs statement said that there has been significant progress in bilateral cooperation in key areas of mutual interest, including energy security, trade and investment, infrastructure, defence and security.Modi had visited Saudi Arabia in April 2016 during which the two countries agreed to further elevate the existing strategic partnership.Prince Salman will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including ministers, senior officials and leading Saudi businessmen. Saudi Arabia is India's fourth largest trading partner with bilateral trade reaching $23.24 billion in April-November 2018. It supplies about 20 per cent of crude requirements to India.Recently, Saudi ARAMCO, in partnership with ADNOC of the UAE, has entered into a Joint Venture for $44 billion Ratnagiri Refinery and Petro-Chemical Project Ltd. The release said that nearly 2.7 million strong Indian community forms the largest expatriate group in Saudi Arabia. "Their positive and highly-appreciated contribution to the development of their host country has been an important anchor of our excellent bilateral engagement. Over 1,75,000 Indians visit Saudi Arabia every year for Haj pilgrimage. During his visit, the Saudi Prince will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind.