India, Saudi to sign pact on defence cooperation

February 27, 2014 - 1:26:40 am

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud with Indian Vice-President Hamid Ansari in New Delhi yesterday.

New Delhi: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud arrived here yesterday on a three-day official visit during which the two countries are expected to sign an agreement on defence and enhance cooperation in hydrocarbons and security. Vice-president Hamid Ansari received Crown Prince Salman on his arrival. 

Crown Prince Salman’s is the highest level political visit from the kingdom after the January 2006 landmark trip by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations.

The crown prince, 78, who is the next in line to the throne and is the deputy prime minister and defence minister, will call on President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and also hold talks with the vice-president, who is a former Indian envoy to Saudi Arabia. 

The two countries were expected to sign a memorandum of understanding on defence for greater exchange of information and training. Also on the cards is enhancing cooperation in areas ranging from hydrocarbons to security. IANS