Saudi Crown Prince likely to visit India next month

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New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is planning to visit India next month in the wake of criticism by the international community over his handling of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the country’s mission in Turkey last year, media reported on Wednesday.

Citing sources, the Nikkei Asian Review business journal reported from Riyadh that apart from India, Prince Salman is also likely to visit China and South Korea in February.

“The Crown Prince has drawn criticism from the international community, especially from the US and Europe, over his handling of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” the report said.

“He apparently hopes to counter criticism from the US and Europe by deepening energy cooperation with Asia,” it stated.

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Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, is a major energy security partner of India.

With the US imposing sanctions on Saudi Arabia’s rival Iran over the latter’s nuclear programme, there have been concerns in New Delhi over India’s energy security.

Washington’s sanctions call for countries to stop importing oil from Iran.

However, the Trump administration has given a temporary relief to India on this matter.

Prince Salman is likely to further strengthen India-Saudi Arabia energy cooperation during the course of the proposed visit.

–IANS

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