Saudi’s crown prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman is expected to visit India next week and hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the Crown Prince’s two-day visit to India, defense, trade, and energy security are expected to be high on the agenda.
Prince Salman will arrive in India on February 19, which will be his maiden trip to the country. He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising of ministers, senior officials and leading Saudi businessmen, said a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.
The Crown Prince Salman will hold talks on a wide range of issues of mutual interest with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the visit. He will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.
There has been substantial progress in the bilateral cooperation in key areas of mutual interest, including energy security, trade, and investment, infrastructure, defense and security in the recent years, said the statement of MEA.
The visit by Prince Salman, who is also the vice president of Saudi Arabia’s council of ministers, follows the highly successful trip of Prime Minister Modi to that country in April 2016. During that visit, the two nations had agreed to further elevate existing strategic partnership, the MEA said.
In the course of the last financial year 2017-18, the bilateral trade between the two countries was USD 27.48 billion, making Saudi Arabia India’s fourth-largest trading partner. By supplying about 20 percent of the crude requirements of the country, Saudi Arabia significantly contributes to the energy security needs of the country.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also facilitates Hajj pilgrimage to over 1, 75,000 Indians every year.