Riyadh, 2 May 2023 (TDI): Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Waleed Abdulkarim El Khereiji, received the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs in the Indian government, V. Muraleedharan, on Tuesday.

Muraleedharan stated the visit significant as it comes immediately after his trip to Jeddah last week to oversee Operation Kaveri, to which Saudi Arabia has been extending outstanding support.

Operation Kaveri is the mission launched by India to evacuate stranded Indians from the crisis-hit Sudan.

Saudi Arabia’s support for the operation had helped bolster relations between India and the Kingdom as most Indians were evacuated by sea through the port of Jeddah.

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Saudi Arabia is the 4th largest trade partner of India. Indo-Saudi economic relations have shown remarkable growth, with bilateral trade registering a three-fold increase in the last five years.

The import of crude oil by India forms a major component of bilateral trade, with Saudi Arabia being India’s largest supplier of crude oil.

Saudi-Indian ties reached new highs when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Delhi in February 2019. In October of that year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Riyadh at the invitation of King Salman, and the Strategic Partnership Council was established.

The 2.8 million plus strong Indian community in Saudi Arabia is the largest community in the Kingdom and is among the most preferred community.

In a tweet related to the meeting, Indian MOS stated, Excellent interaction with Saudi Vice Foreign Minister Eng. Waleed El Khereiji in Riyadh.

He also stated that the two sides discussed ways of strengthening our bilateral strategic partnership and matters related to the welfare of the Indian Community in Saudi Arabia.

On May 3, Muraleedharan is scheduled to visit the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and meet the top leadership of the Province.

Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan will also visit Bahrain as part of a five-day trip, which includes meeting his counterparts.