Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman landed in India on Tuesday ahead of his two-day visit of the country as part of his South Asia tour. He was recieved at Palam airport in Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Indian officials.
During his visit, India is likely to raise the issue of state-sponsored terrorism by Pakistan with the crown prince, as the two countries will look forward on enhancing defence ties, including having a joint naval exercise.
Official sources said Saudi Arabia was no longer accepting Pakistan's narrative on Kashmir and cross border terrorism and that India will forcefully raise the issue of Pakistan's support to terror groups during delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Crown Prince on Wednesday.
The Crown Prince is being accompanied by a high-level official team as well as a large business delegation. PM Modi will host a lunch in honour of the Crown Prince at Hyderabad House in the National Capital on Wednesday.
The two countries held a meeting of 4th Joint Defence Cooperation Committee last month in Riyadh during which both sides explored the possibility of elevating the defence engagement with joint production and joint exercises, particularly joint naval exercises, said Tirumurti.
India's bilateral trade with Saudi Arabia was USD 27.48 billion in 2017-18, making Saudi Arabia its 4th largest trading partner.
Saudi Arabia is also a key pillar of India's energy security, being a source of 17 per cent or more of crude oil and 32 per cent of LPG requirements of India.
(With inputs from PTI)