New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a three-nation tour beginning March 30 during which he will attend the crucial Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, India-EU Summit in Brussels and travel to Saudi Arabia, a key partner of India in the sensitive Gulf region.
The government today said Brussels will be Modi's first stop even as the Belgian capital was rocked by a string of explosions in the which at least 34 people were killed and over 200 injured.
Besides attending the EU-India summit in Brussels, Modi will hold wide-ranging talks with his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel on a variety of issues of mutual interest.
From Brussels, Modi will leave for Washington to attend the 4th Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) on March 31 and April 1 where he will be making some specific announcements and proposals with regard to nuclear security.
At the summit, India will submit a national progress report on nuclear security, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, adding New Delhi has contributed constructively during NSS preparatory meetings from 2014-16.
The Prime Minister is expected to hold a number of bilateral meetings during his stay in Washinton.
From Washington, Modi will travel to Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh on April 2 for a two-day visit at the invitation of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.
Saudi Arabia has become India's fourth largest partner with bilateral trade exceeding USD 39 billion in 2014-15.
Saudi Arabia is also India's largest crude oil supplier and accounts for about one-fifth of total imports. There are over 2.96 million Indian nationals presently working in Saudi Arabia, the largest expatriate community in the country.
This is the highest-level visit from India to Saudi Arabia after the the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh trip to the gulf nation in 2010.
Modi will hold discussions with the King on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest. The 'Strategic Partnership' established through Riyadh declaration in 2010 envisions a deeper engagement in political, economic, security and defence areas.
About the Nuclear Security Summit, Swarup said it has been instrumental in drawing the attention of top leaders to 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 material and technologies.
The upcoming summit is expected to take stock of the progress of the previous NSS Communiques and work plan as also outline a future agenda. 52 countries and four international organisations are expected to attend the NSS.
A number of countries may project steps taken by them to strenthen nuclear security since the last summit, including in the form of submission of national progress reports.
About Modi's Brussels visit, Swarup said the India-EU Summit is aimed at deepening the strategic partnership between the two sides and advance collaboration in priority areas for India's growth and development. The last Summit had taken place in 2012.
India-EU ties witnessed some strain after the 28-member bloc had not responded to New Delhi's proposal for a brief visit by Modi to Brussels, the EU headquarters, during his trip to France, Germany and Canada in April last year.
This had prompted New Delhi to give a cold shoulder to the EU's efforts to finalise Modi's visit last November when he travelled to the UK.
Modi will meet President of the European Council Donald Tusk and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.
"The Prime Minister will also hold a bilateral Summit meeting with Belgium at the invitation of the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel," the MEA Spokesperson said.
He said the bilateral meeting between Modi and his Belgian counterpart will focus on further enhancing the economic partnership.
In Brussels, Modi will also hold interaction with the Indian community....