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Mohammad bin Salman to visit India, Pakistan next week

Mohammad bin Salman's India visit is extra-ordinary in a sense that it is not scheduled through the diplomatic channel

Wednesday February 13, 2019 7:11 PM, ummid.com & Agencies

Modi with Mohammad bin Salman

New Delhi/Islamabad: The high profile Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is visiting India and Pakistan next week, the foreign offices in the two countries said.

Mohammad bin Salman will be in Pakistan for a two-day visit starting February 16 and arrive in India for the equal duration visit on February 19.

Mohamamd bin Salman is visiting Pakistan at the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan. According to the reports, he will stay at the Prime Minister's House in Islamabad during his two-day visit to Pakistan.

On the other hand, Mohammad bin Salman's India visit is extra-ordinary in a sense that it is not scheduled through the diplomatic channel. Rather, it is divinely ordained.

During his maiden visit to India, the Crown Prince will hold talks with Prime Minister Modi on wide range of issues of mutual interest. He will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.

The visit by Prince Salman, who is also the vice president of Saudi Arabia's council of ministers, follows the trip of Prime Minister Modi to Saudi Arabia in April 2016, during which the two sides agreed to further elevate existing strategic partnership, the MEA said.

For Prime Minister Modi, the visit may well be his last waltz on the diplomatic arena before he hits the campaign trail on what promises to be a bruising electoral battle, which has existential overtones for him. A hugely productive outcome of the visit by Mohammad bin Salman will underscore Modi’s diplomatic achievement in injecting dynamism into the relationship with Saudi Arabia and in furthering India’s national interests.

Imran Khan with Mohammad bin Salman

India’s relations with the Muslim Middle East have been the single biggest foreign policy success of the Hindu nationalist government headed by Modi. Even more so when it is also taken into account that the Modi government keeps relationships in the Muslim Middle East brilliantly, overcoming the schisms that wrack regional politics in that part of India’s extended neighbourhood.

Mohammad bin Salman had met Prime minister Narendra Modi on November 29 in Argentina on the sidelines of G20 summit. Before that Prime Minister Modi met Mohammed Bin Salman, the Deputy Crown Prince in September 2016 on the sidelines of Hangzhou G20 summit in China.

Mohammad bin Salman is accompanied by a high level delegation for his visit to the two countires. Both the countries are expecting a fruitful visit and hope that some key deals with far reaching results will be signed.

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