Strategic partnership, trade top PM’s agenda in Saudi Arabia
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have a packed schedule during his day-long visit to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to participate in a global business forum and to hold talks with the top Saudi leadership.
India and Saudi Arabia will sign several agreements, including one on forming a Strategic Partnership Council and another on a joint venture for retail outlets for petroleum products, during Modi’s visit.
Modi, visiting the kingdom at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, will hold a bilateral meeting with the Saudi ruler and delegation-level talks with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. He will also deliver the keynote address at the plenary session of the Future Investment Initiative forum in Riyadh, the Saudi capital.
Watch: PM Modi reaches Saudi Arabia, strategic & trade talks top agenda
The Strategic Partnership Council, which will be headed by India’s premier and the Saudi crown prince, was first mooted during Mohammad bin Salman’s visit to India in February. The agreement on the council will be signed during Modi’s meeting with King Salman.
The council will serve as an institutional mechanism to monitor progress in the bilateral strategic partnership, which has expanded in recent years from energy security to wide-ranging cooperation in defence and security, including information-sharing for counterterrorism.
The two countries are also expected to finalise modalities for India’s single largest greenfield refinery to be built at Raigarh in Maharashtra with investments by Aramco of Saudi Arabia and Adnoc of the UAE. They expect to sign a MoU for a joint venture between Indian Oil Middle East and Al Jeri company for downstream cooperation in setting up retail outlets in Saudi Arabia.
Modi will also hold meetings with Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, minister of energy, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, minister of foreign affairs, Ahmad bin Sulaiman Alrajhi, minister of labour and social development and Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al Fadley , minister of Environment, water and agriculture.