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Thu 24 Mar 2016 12:22 PM

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Indian PM Modi to visit Saudi Arabia next week

Saudi Arabia claimed to be India’s fourth largest trading partner

Indian PM Modi to visit Saudi Arabia next week
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia on April 2-3 to discuss bilateral ties between the two countries.

Modi will be the first Indian prime minister to visit the kingdom after Manmohan Singh, who visited Riyadh in 2010.

During the visit, Modi will hold discussions with King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on bilateral and regional issues, according to an Arabic statement on Saudi Press Agency, cited by local media in the kingdom.

According to Saudi Gazette the statement on Tuesday said: “India and Saudi Arabia share friendly relations based on close people-to-people contacts.

“The ‘Strategic Partnership’ established through Riyadh Declaration in 2010 envisages a deeper engagement in political, economic, security and defence areas. In recent years, there has been significant progress in bilateral cooperation in such key areas of mutual interest.”

Saudi Arabia has become India’s fourth largest partner with bilateral trade exceeding $39 billion in 2014-15, it has been claimed. The kingdom is also India’s largest crude oil supplier accounting for about one fifth of India’s total imports.

Indians form the largest expatriate community in Saudi Arabia – there are more than 2.9 million Indian nationals currently working in Saudi Arabia, the newspaper added.