Modi Receives Saudi Crown Prince With Warm Hug As He Arrives in India

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi receives Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman upon his arrival in New Delhi. — Image Courtesy: Twitter/@MEAIndia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted a tweet saying India is “delighted to welcome” the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

NEW DELHI (Agencies) — Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday broke protocol to personally receive Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is on his first state visit to India, at the Palam airport here.

Prince Mohammed, who came to India a day after his visit to Pakistan, was received by Modi with a warm hug. The Crown Prince had flown back to Saudi Arabia from Pakistan before coming to India.

During his Pakistan visit, the Crown Prince said the dialogue was the only way to resolve “outstanding issues” between India and Pakistan, reports PTI.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted a tweet saying India is “delighted to welcome” the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the first state visit of the Crown Prince marks a new chapter in bilateral relations.

“A new chapter in bilateral relations Breaking protocol, PM narendramodi personally receives HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia as he arrives on his first bilateral visit to India!,” he said in a tweet.

During the two-day visit, India and Saudi Arabia are expected to announce a ministerial-level ‘Strategic Partnership Council’ with the issue of terrorism expected to figure in a major way during the talks in the aftermath of Pulwama terror attack.

The Crown Prince will hold delegation-level meetings with Prime Minister Modi on Wednesday to take forward the existing strategic partnership between the two countries.

The visit of Crown Prince is of huge significance as it comes in the backdrop of the heightened tension between India and Pakistan following the terror attack on CRPF personnel in Pulwama by a suicide bomber owing allegiance to Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad.

He is accompanied by a high-level official delegation as well as a large business delegation.

The Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement that the Crown Prince will leave New Delhi around 11:50 PM on Wednesday and it is expected that he will leave for China from India.

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