New Delhi: At the invitation of Prime Minister of India and under the guidance of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid his first State visit to India from where he was received at the airport by Prime Minister. The visit follows the official visit of Prime Minister Modi to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in April, 2016 at the invitation of the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques His Majesty King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.
The Crown Prince was accorded a ceremonial welcome on February 20, 2019 at the Forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi. President Kovind also hosted a banquet dinner in honour of His Royal Highness.
The bilateral discussions were held in the spirit of strong friendship that binds the two countries and their leaders. They expressed satisfaction at the excellent state of bilateral ties of friendship and cooperation, which are marked by trust, mutual understanding, goodwill and respect for each other’s interests. Both sides expressed satisfaction at the progress made in diverse fields including trade, energy, security and cultural spheres since the landmark visit of the Prime Minister to Riyadh in April 2016 – a visit which served to enhance our engagement and take our relations to the next level.
Prime Minister Modi welcomed the recent changes initiated by the Crown Prince to bring in moderation and openness in Saudi Arabia while His Royal Highness the Crown Prince conveyed his appreciation for Indian model of ethos of inclusiveness, pluralism and tolerance.
The two sides re-affirmed their deep commitment to strengthen the ‘strategic partnership’ envisaged in the ‘Riyadh Declaration’ of February 2010 and reiterated during the visit of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, in February 2014 and the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia in April 2016.
The two sides agreed to cement the existing ‘Strategic Partnership’ with ‘high level monitoring mechanism by the creation of Strategic Partnership Council led by the Prime Minister and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, supported by ministerial representation covering the whole spectrum of strategic relationships.
Both sides welcomed the outcomes of the Workshop between NITI Aayog and Saudi Centre for International Strategic Partnership (SCISP) organised recently in Riyadh. The Workshop has identified more than 40 opportunities of joint collaboration and investments across various sectors.
The main MoUs were signed during the visit include MoU on investing in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund of India, MoU on cooperation in the field of Tourism, MoU on cooperation in the field of Housing. Framework cooperation programme between Invest India and Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority,MoU for cooperation on Broadcasting for exchange of Audio-Visual Programmes, agreement for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) launched by Prime Minister Modi.
Both sides welcomed the key initiatives taken by both Governments to improve the ease of doing business, simplify and rationalize existing rules and relax the foreign direct investment norms in key areas.
The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence expressed his gratitude to the Government and people of India for the warm hospitality extended to him and the accompanying delegation.