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India is second home: Saudi King
January 25, 2006 17:31 IST
Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, who is the Republic Day chief guest, on Wednesday said his visit will help in renewing the historical ties between the two countries.
"I thank the President (A P J Abdul Kalam), Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) and people of India for the warm reception accorded to me and my delegation," the King said after he was accorded the ceremonial guard of honour by the three defence services in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
"The two countries share good relations in the past and my visit will help in renewing the historical ties," he said. "I consider myself in second home," the 83-year-old King said.
Earlier, the King, who arrived in the capital on Tuesday evening, was received by President A P J Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
After inspecting the guard of honour, the King was introduced to the Union cabinet ministers.
Later, the President, the Saudi King and the prime minister posed for photographs before the Saudi Monarch and Dr Singh left for Hyderabad House for delegation-level talks.
The President will host a banquet in honour of the Saudi King later on Wednesday.
India has been attaching a great significance to this visit, which is taking place after five decades. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had deviated from protocol to receive the Saudi Monarch at the Palam technical airport on Tuesday evening.