PM will visit USA for the Nuclear Security Summit (31 March – 01 April, 2016) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (April 2-3, 2016)
New Delhi: Today’s terrorist attack notwithstanding, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay his first official visit to Brussels on 30 March to attend the 13th India-EU Summit at the invitation of President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.
This was announced through an official statement issued on Tuesday by the Ministry of External Affairs.
EU is India’s leading trade and investment partner and biggest export destination. India and EU are also Strategic Partners since 2004. The 13th India-EU Summit aims to deepen the India-EU Strategic Partnership and advance collaboration in priority areas for India’s growth and development.
The Prime Minister will also hold a bilateral Summit meeting with Belgium at the invitation of the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel. India and Belgium enjoy close and friendly ties. Belgium is India’s second largest trade partner within the EU. The bilateral meeting between the two Prime Ministers will focus on further enhancing the economic partnership. The two Prime Ministers will also hold discussions on regional and global issues of mutual interest.
- On March 31 and April 1, the Prime Minister will attend the 4th Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C. The first Nuclear Security Summit was held in Washington D.C. (April 2010) followed by the Summits in Seoul (March 2012) and The Hague (March 2014).
- The Nuclear Security Summit process has been instrumental in focusing leaders’ level attention on the global threat posed by nuclear terrorism and urgent measures required to prevent terrorists and other non-state actors from gaining access to sensitive nuclear materials and technologies. The 2016 Summit is expected to take stock of the progress of the previous NSS Communiqués /Work Plan as also outline a future agenda.
- The Prime Minister is scheduled to also have bilateral meetings on the sidelines of NSS 2016.
Prime Minister Modi will then pay an official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 2-3 April, 2016 at the invitation of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.
This is the highest-level visit from India to Saudi Arabia after the visit of the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to Riyadh in 2010.
During the visit, the Prime Minister will hold discussions with King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.
India and Saudi Arabia share friendly relations based on close people-to-people contacts. The ‘Strategic Partnership’ established through Riyadh declaration in 2010 envisions a deeper engagement in political, economic, security and defence areas. In recent years, there has been significant progress in bilateral cooperation in such key areas of mutual interest.
Saudi Arabia has become our 4th largest partner with bilateral trade exceeding US$ 39 billion in 2014-15. Saudi Arabia is also India’s largest crude oil supplier accounting for about one-fifth of our total imports.
Indians form the largest expatriate community in Saudi Arabia and their contribution in the progress and development of their host country is well recognized. There are over 2.96 million Indian nationals presently working in Saudi Arabia.