Saudi crown prince's two-day India visit from 19 Feb; trade, energy likely to be high on agenda during talks with Narendra Modi

New Delhi: Defence, trade and energy security are expected to be high on the agenda when Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman holds talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two-day visit to India next week.

Accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising ministers, senior officials and leading Saudi businessmen, Prince Salman will arrive in India on 19 February on his maiden trip to the country, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. Reuters

Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. Reuters

During the visit, the crown prince will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on wide range of issues of mutual interest. He will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu.

The visit by Prince Salman, who is also the vice-president of Saudi Arabia's council of ministers, follows the "highly-successful" trip of Modi to that country in April 2016, during which the two sides agreed to further elevate existing strategic partnership, the MEA said.

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, it said.

The bilateral trade was $27.48 billion during the last financial year 2017-18, making Saudi Arabia India's fourth largest trading partner.

Saudi Arabia contributes significantly to India's energy security needs by supplying about 20 per cent of crude requirements of the country.

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

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also facilitates Hajj pilgrimage to over 1,75,000 Indians every year.

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Updated Date: Feb 12, 2019 17:26:28 IST

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