King Salman is friend of India, says Indian diplomat

Riyadh, Jan 30 (IANS) India is looking forward to having stronger relations with Saudi Arabia under the leadership of King Salman, who is a friend of India like King Abdullah, said Indian Consul General B.S. Mubarak.

“Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with King Salman on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia. During that meeting, the Saudi ruler expressed his desire to expand cooperation with India in all sectors,” Arab News quoted Mubarak, consul general for Jeddah, as saying.
“It was like an open invitation for Indians and we hope that bilateral relations will become stronger in the coming years,” the Indian diplomat said.
Mubarak said New Delhi was extremely happy over the quick and smooth transition in the country, following the death of King Abdullah last week.
King Abdullah had very special relations with India, the consul general noted.
“India was one of the first countries he visited after becoming the king in 2005. King Salman has also maintained a special relationship with India. He visited India last February (2014) heading a high-level delegation including business leaders.”
He said Prime Minister Modi sent a high-level delegation comprising 18 members on a special flight under the leadership of Vice President Hamid Ansari to take part in King Abdullah’s funeral, despite US President Barack Obama’s visit to India to be chief guest in the Republic Day celebrations.