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Glad to be in India, Mohammed bin Salman says after grand reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan

Mohammed bin Salman, the young and powerful Saudi leader, arrived in Delhi last night after wrapping up a trip to Pakistan

Wednesday February 20, 2019 12:41 PM, ummid.com News Network

Saudi Crown Prince at Rashtrapati Bhavan

New Delhi: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Wednesday accorded a grand ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcome the visiting Saudi Royal as he arrived at the Rashtrapati Bhavan with Union Minister of State VK Singh. PM Modi, who had received the Saudi Royal last night at the airport, again hugged him as he came down form his car.

Later, he received the guard of honour. Before that the national anthem of the two countries were played.

"Glad to be in India", Mohammed bin Salman told reporters after the ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

"Relation between India and the Arabian Peninsula which Saudi Arabia represents dates back to thousands of years. Even before the history was written. Today we want to be sure that this relation is maintained and improved for the sake of the two countries", he said.

"With the leadership of the President and the PM, I am sure we can create good things for Saudi Arabia and India", he added.

He said a large number of Indians are living in Saudi Arabia and are helping to build the Kingdom since last 70 years. Likewise, there are many Saudis who are living and working in India.

"During this trip we will show few examples of work Saudi people did in India", he said.

Mohammed bin Salman, the young and powerful Saudi leader, arrived in Delhi last night after wrapping up a trip to Pakistan, where he said Saudi Arabia had signed investment agreements worth $20 billiion. Breaking the protocol, Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally welcomed him at the airport.

"India is delighted to welcome HRH Mohammed Bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia", PM Modi tweeted.

Prime Minister Modi's tweet is tagged with a photo that showed him receiving Mohammad bin Salman.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud is visiting India at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is accompanied by a High-Level official delegation as well as a large business delegation.

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The visiting Saudi Royal will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Wednesday. After that, Prime Minister Modi will hold delegation-level talks with him and his delegation at Hyderabad House. Prime Minister will also host a lunch in honour of the visiting dignitary in Hyderabad House.

Both sides are expected to sign five MoUs/ Agreements during the visit in areas of investment, tourism, housing and information & broadcasting. Saudi Arabia has also conveyed that they will be joining ‘International Solar Alliance’ initiative.

Later in the evening, the Crown Prince will call on President Ram Nath Kovind. A banquet in honour of the visiting dignitary and his delegation will be hosted at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Prime Minister Modi and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had met in November last year on the sidelines of G20 in Buenos Aires. During the visit of Prime Minister to Saudi Arabia in April 2016, Mohammed bin Salman had met Prime Minister as the then Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defence of Saudi Arabia.

Relation between India and Saudi Arabia is also important because of a large number of Indians living in the Kingdom. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, about 2.7 million strong and vibrant Indian community forms the largest expatriate group in Saudi Arabia.

"They send a remittance of over US$ 11 billion annually. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also facilitates Hajj pilgrimage to over 1,75,000 Indians every year", the ministry said.

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