Saudi Crown Prince to meet PM Modi today: Details here
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, popularly known as MbS, arrived in India on Tuesday after having completed his two-day visit to Pakistan. The Crown Prince was greeted at the airport by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and two leaders are expected to hold talks on Wednesday, with a special emphasis on trade and terrorism. Here are the details.
MbS visit to long-standing ally Pakistan came in the backdrop of the recent Pulwama attack, that has left over 40 CRPF jawans martyred. During his visit to the country, MbS signed investment deals worth $20bn, and the Crown Prince also vowed to "de-escalate" tensions between India and Pakistan, which hit a new low after the Pulwama attack.
The Pulwama attack took place on February 14 when an SUV laden with 350kg of explosives was driven into a CRPF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway. The attack left over 40 jawans martyred, and was later claimed by Pakistan-based terror group, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
Now, during his India visit, it's expected that Crown Prince will issue a strong statement against terrorism after his meeting with PM Modi on Wednesday. Notably, the Crown Prince's visit comes nearly three years after PM Modi visited Riyadh in 2016. During that visit, MbS had issued a fairly strong worded statement against terrorism.
Condemning terrorism apart, India and Saudi Arabia will also look to deepen their relationship in various areas like trade, investment, security, and culture. Further, the two countries are expected to sign five pacts in the areas of investment, tourism, housing, and broadcasting. Notably, India is among the eight strategic partners with whom Saudi Arabia is looking to deepen ties.
Further, the two nations are also expected to set up a 'Strategic Partnership Council' at the ministerial level, which will be responsible for planning joint naval exercises, and improving the overall level of defense cooperation. After concluding his two-day India visit, MbS is slated to head to China on Thursday, to start the last leg of his Asia tour.