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Saudi Crown Prince to visit India next week

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Asia | February 13, 2019 1:41:35 AM IST
Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, will embark on a maiden two-day visit to India beginning from February 19 at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Saudi Crown Prince will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including ministers, senior officials and leading Saudi businessmen.

During the forthcoming visit, the Saudi Crown Prince will hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister on a wide range of issues of mutual interest. He will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, said a statement from Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

"The visit follows the highly successful visit of Prime Minister Modi to Saudi Arabia in April 2016, during which the two countries agreed to further elevate existing strategic partnership," it added.

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.

"Our bilateral trade was USD 27.48 billion during the last financial year 2017-18, making Saudi Arabia our fourth largest trading partner (bilateral trade during April November 2018 reached USD 23.24 billion). Saudi Arabia contributes significantly to India's energy security needs by supplying about 20 per cent of crude requirements to India," the statement said.

Recently, Saudi ARAMCO in partnership with ADNOC of UAE has entered into a joint venture for USD 44 billion worth Ratnagiri Refinery and Petro-Chemical project Ltd.

About 2.7 million strong and vibrant 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. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also facilitates Hajj pilgrimage to over 1,75,000 Indians every year," the statement further said. (ANI)

 
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