Sushma Swaraj to leave for Saudi Arabia to deepen ties


New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will be leaving to Dubai today on her first official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Ministry of External Affairs on Monday informed that during the two-day visit, Swaraj will meet with the Saudi leadership to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.

“The EAM will also participate at the inauguration of the prestigious National Heritage and Culture Festival ‘Janadriyah’ being held in Saudi Arabia, at which India is the guest of honour country,” it said.

“India and Saudi Arabia have historic and friendly relations. The landmark visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia in April 2016 gave a strong impetus to the mutually beneficial strategic ties,” it added.

The statement further mentioned that Saudi Arabia is the fourth largest trading partner for India with bilateral trade exceeding USD 25 billion in 2016-17. As our largest supplier of crude oil, Saudi Arabia accounts for about 20 percent of our total annual imports.

According to the MEA, about 3.2 million strong and vibrant Indian community forms the largest expatriate group in Saudi Arabia. Their positive and well-appreciated contribution in the development of their host country has been an important element of our bilateral engagement.