New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia on a two-day visit on October 28. During the visit, he will participate in the third edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII), an annual investment forum there.
PM Modi’s visit to the Kingdom Saudi Arabia comes months after Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman visited India in February. The development comes after the oil-rich kingdom last month announced that it will invest $100 billion in India in areas of petrochemicals, infrastructure, and mining among others.
Saying that India is an attractive investment destination, Saudi Ambassador Dr Saud Bin Mohammed Al Sati had also said his country is eyeing long-term partnerships with New Delhi in key sectors such as oil, gas, and mining.
Confirming PM Modi’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Ministry of External Affairs also on Thursday said that PM Modi will hold a bilateral meeting with Saudi Arabia King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Riyadh.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet King of Saudi Arabia His Majesty Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud,” TS Tirumurti, Chief Secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs had said.
Tirumurti has also said that there will also be a bilateral segment to his visit where PM Modi will meet Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, and hold bilateral talks with him.
“An agreement on the Strategic Partnership Council will also be signed. There will also be separate delegation-level talks with the Crown prince of Saudi Arabia,” Tirumurti said.
During his visit, PM Modi will also launch RuPay card in Saudi Arabia. Besides, the two countries will hold joint naval exercises in December this year.
Earlier, the MEA spokesperson had said that PM Modi will reach Riyadh late night on October 28 and the next day, a few Saudi ministers will call on him.
Earlier in the evening, Pakistan turned down India’s request to allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi use its airspace to travel to Saudi Arabia, following which India on Sunday said it has taken up the matter with the International Civil Aviation Oraganisation (ICAO) as overflight clearances are sought and granted as per the guidelines prescribed by the ICAO.
“Overflight clearances are sought and granted by other countries as per prescribed by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines and India will continue to seek such overflight clearances. We’ve taken up the matter of such denial with the civil aviation body,” government sources told ANI.
India said that it regretted the decision taken by the Government of Pakistan to yet again deny the overflight clearance for VVIP special flight which is otherwise granted routinely by any normal country.
“Pakistan should reflect upon its decision to deviate from well-established international practice, as well as reconsider its old habit of misrepresenting the reasons for taking unilateral action,” sources said.
The development comes as Pakistan earlier in the day denied its airspace to allow PM Modi to travel to Saudi Arabia for a two-day state visit from October 29.
“Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday announced that Islamabad has denied New Delhi’s request for use of airspace for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Dawn reported.
As per media reports, India had sought Pakistan’s permission to use the country’s airspace on October 28 for Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Saudi.
(With inputs from agencies)