Saudi Arabia, Pakistan sign agreements to improve ties - GulfToday

Pakistan PM, Saudi CP commit to 'fortify upward trajectory' in bilateral relations, sign several deals


Imran Khan and Prince Mohammed Bin Salman sign agreements in Jeddah on Saturday. Reuters / AFP

Gulf Today Report

Saudi Arabia and longstanding ally Pakistan signed several agreements on Saturday and vowed to strengthen bilateral relations. On his seventh visit to the kingdom since his 2018 election, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was given a warm welcome by Saudi officials in the western coastal city of Jeddah. He was greeted by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman at the airport, before holding talks with Saudi officials at Jeddah's Al Salam Palace.

Imran and Mohammed Bin Salman have affirmed their commitment to fortify the “upward trajectory” in Pakistan - Saudi Arabia bilateral relations, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in a statement issued on Saturday.

The prime minister met crown prince in Jeddah and held wide-ranging talks on bilateral, regional and international issues. "The talks were marked by exceptional cordiality and a commitment to fortify the upward trajectory in the bilateral relationship." The two sides also agreed upon further deepening cooperation in all fields.

Pakistan-SaudiArabia-May08-main1-750Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (right) receives Imran Khan in Jeddah on Friday night. AFP

The communique added that the prime minister conveyed sincere regards to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, and thanked the crown prince for his gracious invitation to him to visit the kingdom.

The premier expressed also his gratitude for affording him the opportunity to visit the two Holy Mosques during the special days of Ramadan. Imran also invited the crown prince to visit Pakistan and shared that the goodwill generated by his last visit is still fresh in the minds of people. “He has accepted the invitation.”

ImranPrinceMSalmanMohammed Bin Salman receives Imran Khan in Jeddah. AFP

"The two leaders reaffirmed the strong and historic bonds between the two countries rooted firmly in shared beliefs, common values, mutual trust and longstanding tradition of mutual support," the press release added.

The prime minister reiterated Pakistan's abiding support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the kingdom and expressed special reverence accorded to the Land of the Two Holy Mosques by the people of Pakistan.

"They affirmed the depth of relations between the two brotherly countries and underscored the importance of expanding and intensifying aspects of bilateral cooperation and coordination," a Saudi statement said.

"The two sides stressed the need for concerted efforts by the Islamic world to confront extremism and violence, and reject sectarianism," the Saudi statement said.

Pakistan-SaudiArabia-May08-main2-750Mohammed Bin Salman and Imran Khan in Jeddah. AFP

The official Saudi Press Agency said the two sides signed agreements addressing the treatment of criminals, and crime. They also agreed two memorandums of understanding on combating drug trafficking, and on financing energy, water and infrastructure projects. The two countries also agreed to establish a Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council (SPSCC).

"During the meeting, it was agreed to further strengthen, deepen and diversify the existing bilateral political, economic, trade, defence and security ties," a Pakistani statement said.

"The talks were marked by exceptional cordiality and a commitment to fortify the upward trajectory in the bilateral relationship," it added.

"The prime minister of Pakistan's visit to Saudi Arabia is an important milestone in bilateral relations," Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan tweeted on Saturday.

"The kingdom is keen to further strengthen relations between the brotherly countries as well as enable broader economic cooperation."

Imran-PrinceSalmanMohammed Bin Salman and Imran Khan are seen upon his arrival in Jeddah. Reuters

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi termed the visit of Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia as highly productive and said it would bring good news for Pakistani people. Talking to the media after Imran’s meeting with Saudi Crown Prince, the foreign minister said talks between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were marked by warmth and cordiality.

Qureshi, in a video statement, said that delegation-level talks were held in an extremely friendly atmosphere during which views were exchanged on future directions of the bilateral relationship.

“The prime minister’s visit is proving highly productive and there is good news for Pakistan and the Pakistani people.” Qureshi said a Saudi delegation will visit Pakistan after Eid to discuss the visit of the Saudi crown prince and foreign minister to Pakistan.

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