NEW DELHI: While it’s not clear yet if Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu will visit India this month, official sources confirmed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will be here on February 19. India and Israel have not yet been able to find a mutually convenient date for Netanyahu’s visit even though the government remains keen to host him.
Prince Salman’s visit will be significant as Saudi Arabia is a major energy security provider for India. PM Narendra Modi had visited Riyadh in 2016 in what was seen as a turning point in relations. Modi was then honoured with the ‘Sash of King Abdulaziz’, the highest civilian decoration awarded by the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia also is India’s fourth largest trade partner (after China, US and Japan). In 2017-18, India-Saudi bilateral trade increased by 9.56 % to $27.48 billion. During the visit, he will inaugurate the new embassy complex in New Delhi. The visit of Prince Salman, who will be accompanied by a large delegation of ministers and senior officials, will further strengthen India-Saudi energy cooperation besides emphasising enhancement of ties across several areas, including IT, health and tourism.
Source: Times of India