Saudi Crown Prince, Iranian Foreign Minister to Visit India

There will be a flurry of visits to India by a number of foreign dignitaries in the next few days which include Saudi Arabia\'s Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Russia\'s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin.

Published: 21st February 2014 09:38 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st February 2014 09:40 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

There will be a flurry of visits to India by a number of foreign dignitaries in the next few days which include Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin.

Al Saud, who is also Saudi Arabia's Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, will arrive here on February 26 on a three-day visit.

It will be the highest level political visit to India from Saudi Arabia after the landmark visit of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in January 2006. The visit is aimed at further strengthening ties between the two countries.

Saudi Arabia is India's fourth largest partner with bilateral trade recording USD 43 billion in 2012-13. Saudi Arabia is also India's largest crude oil supplier accounting for about one-fifth of our total imports in 2012-13, the spokesman in Ministry of External Affairs said.

Indians form the largest expatriate community in Saudi Arabia and their contribution in the progress and development of their host country is well recognised. There are over 2.88 million Indian nationals presently working in Saudi Arabia.

The Crown Prince will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including cabinet ministers, senior officials and captains of industry.

During Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Riyadh in 2010, both countries had decided to elevate the bilateral engagement to 'Strategic Partnership' covering security, economic, defence and political areas.

The Crown Prince will call on President Pranab Mukherjee and meet the Prime Minister and Vice President M Hamid Ansari.

In recent years, there has been significant progress in bilateral cooperation in key areas of mutual interest, including energy security, trade and infrastructure development projects.

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif will arrive here on February 27 on a two-day visit. He is expected to hold talks with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.

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