NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday left for a one-day official visit to Saudi Arabia. During his visit to oil-rich Gulf nation, PM Modi will ink an agreement with Riyadh aimed at setting up the Strategic Partnership Council to elevate the ties between the two countries to a new level. The prime minister is also scheduled to attend the Plenary Session of the Third Future Investment Initiative Forum being held in Riyadh on Tuesday.
"PM @narendramodi emplanes for Riyadh to participate in the 3rd @FIIKSA Forum on an invitation of HM @KingSalman. Coupled with a strong bilateral component, the visit will strengthen a relationship that goes back centuries," tweeted MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
Transforming India-Saudi strategic partnership!
PM @narendramodi emplanes for Riyadh to participate in the 3rd @FIIKSA Forum on an invitation of HM @KingSalman. Coupled with a strong bilateral component, the visit will strengthen a relationship that goes back centuries. pic.twitter.com/2lfoMX6inB
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) October 28, 2019
Before embarking on his visit to Saudi Arabia, PM Modi said in a statement that he is visiting the Kingdom at the invitation of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. During his visit, PM Modi is set to meet the Saudi King and he will also talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on matters of bilateral cooperation.
"India and Saudi Arabia have enjoyed traditionally close and friendly relations. Saudi Arabia has been one of the largest and reliable suppliers of India`s energy needs," PM Modi said in the statement.
"The Crown Prince during his visit to New Delhi in February 2019 committed to invest over US$100 billion in sectors of priority in India. Defence, security, trade, culture, education and people-to-people contacts are the other important areas of bilateral cooperation with Saudi Arabia," he added.
PM Modi will also address the Future Investment Initiative Forum and it is learnt that in his address the prime minister will speak about the growing trade and investment opportunities for the global investors in India as the nation targets to become a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024.
It is expected that some major energy deals would also be finalised during PM Modi's visit, including the West Coast Refinery Project and for India's Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) Programme.
India and Saudi Arabia are also likely to ink an agreement over the USD 44 billion West Coast Refinery Project in Maharashtra. The two countries may also finalise a deal on the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) Programme.