The importance India attaches to Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud's visit is evident from the fact that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh waived protocol by receiving the monarch at the airport on Tuesday, January 24.
King Abdullah is the chief guest for India’s 57th Republic Day celebrations, and his four-day visit will involve talks with Indian leaders on energy cooperation, terrorism, avoidance of double taxation, labour exports and prevention of tax evasion among other issues.
This is the first visit by a Saudi king to India since King Saud bin Abdul Aziz in 1955. In 1956, then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited Saudi Arabia and in 1982, then prime minister Indira Gandhi travelled to the kingdom.
This is a historic visit. Make no mistake about that.