Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman concluded his trip to Pakistan and returned to Riyadh. The prince must now arrive in New Delhi on the evening of Tuesday 19 February. He should be accompanied by his ministers and a business delegation.
Prince Salman returned home from Islamabad on Monday, keeping in mind India's sensitivity to its relations with Pakistan after the recent terrorist attack in Pulwama, which killed more than 45 Jawans in the CRPF and injured them many others. India informed the Saudi authorities that the royal visit to New Delhi immediately after Pakistan was not acceptable, a source told Livemint.
Key agenda of the MBS visit
- The Saudi Crown Prince will arrive on Tuesday and will receive the welcome ceremonies at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday, February 20th. He will then meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will host him at lunch time.
- Bilateral talks should strengthen ties between the two countries. While India already thinks that relations with Saudi Arabia have undergone a fairly significant change and that both countries have worked well in defense and intelligence-sharing cooperation, Riyadh has also stated that she hoped to "deepen the partnership" in security, trade and security. According to Press Trust of India, a senior official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, TS Tirumurti, reportedly said: "Investment and culture".
- Revealing the agenda, the Indian Foreign Ministry said the topics likely to be discussed are "trade and investment, defense and security, including counterterrorism and anti-terrorism. renewable energies".
- During the visit, Saudi Arabia and India are likely to sign a document on the Strategic Partnership Council, which will then see the two countries carry out joint naval exercises.
Tirumurti, explaining the idea of the Strategic Partnership Council, added: "We are confident that this will give more weight to our strategic partnership and advance our discussions in a targeted and pragmatic way." This commitment has already begun between the relevant authorities in in certain areas of common interest, in particular trade, investment and economic issues "
- During the meeting, Prince Salman and Modi will oversee the signing of five contracts in the investment, energy and housing sectors.
- Saudi Arabia will also join the International Solar Alliance and the two countries will strengthen their collaboration in the energy sector. Aramco (Saudi Arabia) is increasingly interested in the Ratnagiri Refinery and the Petrochemicals Project Ltd, a $ 44 billion joint venture in Saudi Arabia.
- The two countries are also expected to issue a joint declaration on terrorism, after Saudi Arabia has promised to "defuse" tensions between India and Pakistan.
- Prince Salman will then travel to China where he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday and Friday. The two leaders will discuss and "deepen their cooperation" under China's Belt and Road Initiative, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.
The visit of Prince Salman to Asia in three countries is considered as the means by which Saudi Arabia asserts to the West that the prince still has friends in Asia. Prince Salman is under the scanner after the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Khashoggi, a critic of the prince and his policies, was reportedly killed by order of Salman.