Prime Minister Modi arrived in Riyadh yesterday late at night.
He is there to attend Saudi Arabia’s high profile two-day long annual financial conference. Importantly, he will hold bilateral talks with the top leadership of the Gulf Kingdom.
Prime Minister Modi said that “the visit aimed at strengthening ties with a valued friend.” Moreover, he mentioned that he “will be taking part in a wide range of programmes.”
In addition, PM Modi will also address the crowd. He will discuss FII, ‘What’s next for India?’ at the Future Investment Initiative (FII).
Interestingly, PM Modi’s address is titled as ‘Davos in the Desert’. Besides, PM Modi will hold bilateral talks with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz. Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman will also join them.
The two sides would sign a number of agreements in several key sectors. This will include oil and gas, renewable energy and civil aviation.
The three-day forum has begun. A number of financiers, government, and industry leaders will come to discuss global trade.
PM Modi considers Saudi Arabia as an important trade partner. Additionally, in one of his statements in New Delhi, he said, “India and Saudi Arabia have enjoyed traditionally close ties.”
He further added, “Saudi Arabia has been one of the largest and reliable suppliers for India’s energy needs.”
He also mentioned about areas of cooperation such as defence, security, trade, education, and people-to-people contacts, for instance.
Above all, both they have agreed to sign an agreement to establish a Strategic Partnership Council. The council will meet every two years. Prime Minister Modi and the Crown Prince will head it.
In 2018, several countries boycott the forum in aftermath of the killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi security agents murdered him in the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.