Saudi Delegation Arrives, to Sign 2 Major Pacts

Saudi Delegation Arrives, to Sign 2 Major Pacts

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud with a delegation of cabinet ministers and officials will arrive in New Delhi on Wednesday on a three-day official visit.

Crown Prince Salman’s is the highest level political delegation from the kingdom after the January 2006 landmark trip by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations.

The crown prince will meet President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and also hold talks with Vice President Hamid Ansari.

The crown prince is to sign a memorandum of understanding on defence for greater exchange of information and training.

"Also on the cards is enhancing cooperation in areas ranging from hydrocarbons to security," said the statement.

The two countries will work together in curbing money laundering and drug trafficking.

The embassy said Saudi Arabia sees India as an attractive investment hub for its business interests in Asia and seeks Indian investments in areas such as consultancy, construction, telecom, information technology and pharmaceuticals.

In his last visit during the 2006 visit, King Abdullah had referred to India as his "second home".

This will be Crown Prince Salman’s second visit to India. He came in April 2010 when he was governor of Riyadh province.

An official visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Riyadh in 2010 and the Riyadh Declaration signed Feb 28, 2010, elevated the bilateral engagement to "strategic partnership" covering security, economic, defence and political areas.

Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth largest trading partner with bilateral trade of over $43 billion in 2012-13. Saudi Arabia is also India’s largest crude oil supplier accounting for about one-fifth of total imports in 2012-13.

Indians form the largest expatriate community in Saudi Arabia numbering 2.88 million and are are considered "the most preferred community due to their expertise, sense of discipline and peace-loving nature", it said.

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