Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a two-day visit to Middle East country Saudi Arabia starting from Monday, with the aim to boost the bilateral ties between the countries including key sectors like energy and finance.
PM’s visit is scheduled after an invitation from the Saudi king Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. He will also hold talks with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and launch the RuPay card in the gulf country during his two days visit.
He will also deliver the keynote address in the Forum. On Tuesday, he will address the FII plenary session, also known as the ‘Davos in the Desert’, and will leave for New Delhi on the same night.
FII plenary session is being hosted by Riyadh since 2017 with the aim to project the Kingdom as a potential investment hub in the region.
“There will also be a bilateral segment to his visit where Prime Minister Modi will meet Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, and hold bilateral talks with him,” TS Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Affairs), Ministry of External Affairs, had told reporters on Thursday.
“An agreement on the Strategic Partnership Council will also be signed. There will also be separate delegation-level talks with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia,” he added.
The bilateral meet is coming amid the heightened tensions between India and Pakistan. Saudi Arabia which shares a good relation with Pakistan is a closed ally of India as well. In February, Saudi Crown Prince gave a visit few days after the Pulwama attack to both India and Pakistan. However the visit was pre-planned and not with the view of the attacks, followed by tensions in between the two countries.
The relationship between the two countries worsen after India abrogated Article 370 from the Constitution on August 5, that gave special powers to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Since then, Pakistan didn’t leave any chance to internationalise the issue.
Indian PM’s flight was supposed to fly over Pakistan’s airspace but the latter denied its access on Sunday. India has taken the matter to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a specialised agency of United Nations.