New Delhi, Feb 20 (IECurrentAffairs) The visiting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud was on Wednesday given the ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were present on the occasion among others.
Breaking protocol, Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday evening received the Saudi Crown Prince as the latter arrived on his crucial and maiden state visit to India.
“We have very old relations between two countries….Today we want to be sure that this relation is maintained and strengthened for the sake of both countries,” the visiting Crown Prince said in brief remarks to the media.
He expressed hope that under the leadership of President Kovind and Prime Minister Modi, “we can create good things for both Saudi Arabia and India”.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will call on the visiting dignitary.
Among other engagements, both the Crown Prince and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold bilateral talks.
This will be followed by delegation level talks.
In addition to the hardcore diplomatic issues including terror which would figure prominently at the talks between Indian and Saudi sides, issues of Haj quota and imprisonment of Indians in Saudi Arabia will also be raised, official sources said here.
“India is delighted to welcome HRH Mohammed Bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia,” Mr Modi tweeted on Tuesday evening.
India has asserted that notwithstanding the fact that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has made a visit to Islamabad just on the eve of his trip to India, the context of Pakistan is “irrelevant” to India-Saudi Arabia relations.
The Crown Prince who arrived in Islamabad on Sunday at the start of his Asia tour – that includes first State Visit to India had returned to Saudi Arabia on Monday.
Apparently, Indian diplomats had ‘reservations’ over his coming to India from Islamabad.