New Delhi, February 19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman who landed India on Tuesday evening after his visit to Pakistan. PM Modi received Mohammed Bin Salman and greeted him with a hug. The Crown Prince, who is on his first state visit to India, will hold delegation-level meetings with PM Modi on Wednesday to take forward the existing strategic partnership between India and Saudi Arabia.
During Mohammed Bin Salman's visit, India is likely to raise the issue of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. India and Saudi Arabia are also expected to sign ties to enhance cooperation in various fields during the "landmark event in high-level bilateral ties". MBS, as the Saudi Crown Prince is also known, will hold bilateral talks during his two-day visit with PM Modi on a wide range of issues of mutual interest including counter-terrorism, defence and security. Saudi Arabia Hopes for Deescalation of Tension Between India, Pakistan.
— ANI (@ANI) February 19, 2019
India and Saudi Arabia are also expected to sign five MoUs in fields ranging from defence, healthcare etc. According to the External Affairs Ministry, the talks on investment of US $44 billion by Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) in Ratnagiri Refinery project are also likely to take place. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Disrespected in Pakistan? Imran Khan Eats, President Alvi Forgets to Stand For Speech; Watch Video.
The two-day visit by MBS could be considered as important after the Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed by Pakistan-backed JeM terrorist group, as India adopted coercive diplomacy against Pakistan. The visit follows the highly successful visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia in April 2016.
India and Saudi Arabia have historically enjoyed close and friendly relations anchored in mutually beneficial partnership and extensive people to people contacts. In recent years, there has been significant progress in bilateral cooperation in key areas of mutual interest, including energy security, trade and investment, infrastructure, defence and security.
About 2.7 million strong and vibrant Indian community forms the largest expatriate group in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia also facilitates Hajj pilgrimage to over 1,75,000 Indians every year. The Saudi Crown Prince has embarked on a four-country Asian tour that besides India, also includes Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia. He recently concluded his Pakistan visit. (With agency inputs)