New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is
expected to undertake a long-overdue visit to Saudi Arabia
next month or early March during which the two countries will
sign nine pacts, including an Extradition Treaty and an
Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners.
The focus of the visit will be to expand the Strategic
Partnership that was reached between the two countries during
the trip of Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz here in January
2006 when he was the Chief Guest for Republic Day.
"A new era of relationship was started when the King
visited India in 2006...It opened a new important chapter in
the relations. We are going to witness again a new chapter
being opened during the long-awaited visit of the Prime
Minister," Saudi Ambassador Faisal H Trad told a select group
He said the exact dates for the visit were being finalised
but indicated that it could take place either late next month
or early March as the two countries had agreed to have the
trip in the first quarter of this year.
The return visit to the Saudi King`s India trip has been
in the pipeline for long but has failed to fructify. There was
a proposal for the visit in November 2008 and preparations
were being made but it failed to take place due to scheduling
Trad said nine pacts will be signed during the visit.
These include an Extradition Treaty and an Agreement on
Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners.
Around 700 Indians are serving sentence in Saudi Arabia
while another 700 are under trial, he said, adding no Saudi
national is imprisoned here.