New Delhi, Apr 2: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left for Saudi Arabia after two days of engagement with world leaders during the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. His visit to usher in a new era in India-Saudi relations.
His visit to Saudi Arabia has come after a successful Indian tour of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman when he was the crown prince, deputy premier and defense minister in 2014.
This is the first visit by an Indian prime minister in six years after then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the Kingdom in 2010. His visit paved the way for the two countries to sign 10 bilateral agreements.
Here are some facts you need to know about India-Saudi Arabia relations
- Saudi Arabia has become India's fourth largest trading partner. The two-way trade volume between both the countries has exceeded $40 billion during the last 15 years.
- Saudi Arabia is the largest crude oil supplier of India.
- Indians form the largest expatriate community in Saudi Arabia whose number exceeds 2.9 million today.
- Saudi Arabia is part of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium initiative by India, which aims to increase maritime cooperation among navies of the world.
- The Delhi Declaration signed in 2006 laid the roadmap for bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
- Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, then president of India, visited Saudi Arabia in March 1975 to attend King Faisal's funeral. This was the first time that an Indian president personally represented India at the funeral of another head of state.