Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make his first official visit to Saudi Arabia Saturday after he leaves from the United States, where he was attending the Nuclear Security Summit 2016 in Washington. The Middle-Eastern kingdom will be the last of the Indian prime minister's trip to three nations, after Belgium and the U.S.
Modi's visit to Saudi Arabia comes following an invitation from Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the Indian leader is expected to focus on boosting security ties between the two nations as well as calling for Saudi investments in India.
"We want the prominent Saudi businesses to partner with India's development priorities. That would be one of the key objectives of the business event planned in Riyadh," Modi said in a statement earlier this week. "I plan to work with the Saudi leadership to expand and deepen our bilateral relations."
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al Jubeir, who visited Delhi last month, had also discussed improving cooperation in security and counterterrorism with the Indian government, according to Mint. Saudi Arabia is the largest crude oil supplier to India and also its fourth-largest trading partner.
Modi also said he would discuss the "regional situation" during his Riyadh visit, which will be significant in the context of terrorism and instability in the countries neighbouring Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia and the United States took joint action Thursday to disrupt the fundraising and support networks of al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and Lashkar-e-Taiba by imposing sanctions on four individuals and two organisations with ties across Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.
Modi will not attend any Madison Square-like event with the Indian diaspora in Saudi Arabia, which is reportedly home to nearly 3.5 million expatriates, according to the Economic Times.
He will visit the Masmak Fortress, L&T Workers' Residential Complex and TCS All Women IT & ITES Center in Riyadh during his two-day trip to Saudi Arabia.
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