New Delhi: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will be visiting India ahead of this year’s general election, the External Affairs Ministry said on Thursday.
Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the dates of the visits of both the leaders are being worked out.
Netanyahu visited New Delhi on January 15 last year during the course of which India and Israel signed nine agreements, including in the areas of cyber security and oil and gas.
Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat recently visited India and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.
During Ben-Shabbat’s visit, Netanyahu spoke to Modi over the phone and planned the upcoming visit.
Prince Salman’s visit assumes significance given that Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, is a major energy security partner of India.
It is also becoming a major investor in India, especially in the petrochemical sector, and an important dialogue partner on strategic issues, including intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism.
During the visit he will also inaugurate the new embassy complex in New Delhi, which will be one of its largest embassies worldwide.
Prince Salman, who will be accompanied by a large delegation of ministers and high officials, is likely to further strengthen India-Saudi Arabia energy cooperation besides discussing enhancement of ties across several areas, including IT, health and tourism.
He is also likely to discuss transfer of billions of dollars in sovereign funds from Western markets to India.