New Delhi – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MBS) visit to India will be a “historic opportunity” to strengthen the relations between Riyadh and New Delhi, said Saudi Envoy to India on Sunday in New Delhi.
MBS is scheduled to arrive in India on Tuesday, as a part of his first official visit.
The primary agenda of his visit will be to hold a joint-cooperation deal to combat terrorism, since the timing of his visit is close to the Pulwama terrorist attack, and Saudi Arabia has strongly condemned it and promised to stand with India against extremism.
During his two-day visit, MBS is expected to meet Prime Minster Narendra Modi, and President Ram Nath Kovind, along with Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.
“Saudi Arabia and India share age-old ties of friendship. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to India is highly anticipated and presents a historic opportunity to expand collaboration between our two friendly countries in all fields,” Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to India Saud Mohammad Al Sati said.
According to Professor James M. Dorsey, the visit will be a significant one with Saudi Arabia plans to invest $44 million in a refinery in India’s west coast and looking to invest heavily in Indian infrastructure and agriculture, while Iran will remain an elephant in the room.
Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth largest business partner, with bilateral trade being estimated at $28 billion. About 20 per cent of India’s crude oil supply comes from Saudi Arabia.
Recently, Saudi ARAMCO, in partnership with ADNOC of the UAE, entered into a $44 billion joint venture for the Ratnagiri refinery and a petrochemical project.
Saudi Arabia also facilitates Hajj pilgrimage of over 1,75,000 Indians every year, while over 4,100,000 Indian expatriates live and work in Saudi Arabia.