Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday arrived in Saudi Arabia for a two-day visit aimed at enhancing bilateral trade and firming up security cooperation to counter the challenge posed by terrorism and extremism.
Modi was received by the governor of Riyadh when he flew into Saudi Arabia after attending the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by US President Barack Obama in Washington.
The Prime Minister will also be accorded a welcome by the Indian community during a reception at a hotel in Riyadh. He will also interact with workers and managers of India’s Larsen & Toubro (L&T), which is constructing the Riyadh Metro, at their residential complex in the evening.
Modi will also visit the Masmak Palace in the Saudi capital, which was built around 1865.
He will begin the second day of his visit by touring Tata Consultancy Services’ all women IT centre. This will be followed by a meeting with top Saudi and Indian business leaders at the Council of Saudi Chambers in Riyadh.
WATCH: PM Modi received upon arrival by Governor of Riyadh, to interact with Indian community later todayhttps://t.co/7mKWveSRL4— ANI (@ANI_news) April 2, 2016
King Salman will host a ceremonial reception, including a lunch, in Modi’s honour on Sunday afternoon. The event will be attended by key Saudi ministers. This will be followed by a series of meetings and talks with senior Saudi officials and members of the royal family, including Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Naif, who is the deputy premier and interior minister, and Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, the second deputy premier and defence minister.
Modi and King Salman are expected to discuss a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues, including terrorism, security cooperation and commercial ties, officials said.
Reached Saudi Arabia. I look forward to a productive visit that will strengthen our bilateral relations. pic.twitter.com/lgdWHpVwHw— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 2, 2016
The talks will also focus on the situation in Syria, Iran, Yemen and Libya and help frame a joint strategy to fight terrorism, officials added.
Several agreements are expected to be signed during Modi’s visit, including a framework for investment promotion between the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority and the National Investment Promotion Agency of India.
This is the first visit by an Indian prime minister to Saudi Arabia in six years. Late King Abdullah had visited India in 2006, when the two sides signed the Delhi Declaration.
During former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s visit in 2010, the two sides signed 10 agreements, including the Riyadh Declaration which established a strategic partnership for deeper engagement in politics, economics, security and defence.
Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth largest trading partner with two-way trade at more than $40 billion. It is also India’s largest supplier of crude oil, accounting for almost one-fifth of New Delhi’s imports.
Saudi Arabia is also home to almost 3 million Indians, the largest expatriate community in the kingdom.