Antony first defence minister to visit Saudi

With India increasingly looking at Saudi Arabia as a trusted partner in oil supply, Defence Minister A K Antony is scheduled to visit Riyadh on Monday with the aim of upgrading military ties between the two nations.

During his two-day trip, Antony will hold discussions with his counterpart Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, besides meeting other leaders, official sources said.

The defence minister is accompanied by defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma, Army Vice-Chief Lt Gen SK Singh, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Satish Soni and Air Vice Marshal MR Pawar.

Current defence ties between the two nations is limited to training, ship visits and high level visits, which may be enhanced to the next level such as joint exercise and patrol. Both sides will engage in discussions on areas where such cooperation can be expanded to mutual benefit.

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