PM to kick-off three-nation trip from Brussels on Mar 30

New Delhi, Mar.22 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Brussels for the first leg of his three nation visit to Belgium, United States and Saudi Arabia on March 30.

During the Belgium visit, the Prime Minister will also take part in the 13th India-EU Summit at the invitation of the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

“PM will visit Brussels on March 30 for 13th India-EU Summit,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Vikas Swarup told the media personnel here.

European Union (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 his Belgian counterpart 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.

From Brussels, the Prime Minister would depart for Washington D.C to attend the Fourth Nuclear Security Summit on March 31 and April 1.

“From Brussels, the Prime Minister will proceed to Washington D.C. to participate in the Nuclear Security Summit on March 31st- April 1,” Swarup said.

“PM Modi is scheduled to also have some bilateral meetings on the sidelines of NSS 2016,” he added.

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.

From the United States, Prime Minister Modi will proceed for an official visit to Saudi Arabia on April 2 and 3.

“PM is paying an official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 2nd and 3rd April 2016,” Swarup said.

This is the highest-level visit from India to Saudi Arabia after the visit of the former prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to Riyadh in 2010.

During the visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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 USD 39 billion in 2014-15. Saudi Arabia is also India’s largest crude oil supplier accounting for about one-fifth of our total imports. (ANI)

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