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PM Imran Khan's arrangements for Saudi Arabia visit finalised: sources

PM Imran Khan is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia for a two-day visit — May 7-9

By Ayaz Akbar Yousufzai
May 05, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan (right). — Twitter/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan is all set to depart for Saudi Arabia as the arrangements for his two-day visit — May 7-9 — have been completed, sources said Wednesday.

According to sources, the Pakistani delegation will reach the Kingdom in two to three phases, adding that the first delegation has already left the country.

Prime Minister will be accompanied by the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam and Chairman Standing Committee on Defense Amjad Khan Niazi.

PM Khan will leave for Saudi Arabia in the next two days, sources said.

During the meeting, the two sides are expected to hold important meetings related to Climate Change, especially the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Project, sources added.

The official delegation will take care of the necessary issues before the arrival of the Prime Minister in Saudi Arabia.

Last month, Prime Minister Imran Khan had a telephonic conversation with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who had invited the prime minister to visit the kingdom. PM Khan had accepted his offer.

The phone call was made hours after the premier had penned a letter to MBS, lauding the launch of the "Saudi Green Initiative" and "Green Middle East" initiative.

The PM's Office, in a series of tweets, said the premier and the crown prince agreed to work together to further augment bilateral ties in all spheres.

Pakistan to sign 3 MoUs with the Kingdom

A day ago, Pakistan's New Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Lieutenant General (retd) Bilal Akbar, in an interview with the Saudi media, said memoranda of understanding (MoUs) in three areas will be signed during the premier’s visit.

He said a meeting related to prisoners' release will be held during PM Imran Khan's visit whereas the release of prisoners will be expedited with Saudi Arabia's cooperation.

He added that hundreds of prisoners will be released from jails in Saudi Arabia and return to Pakistan.

This is not the first time when PM Imran has raised the issue of Pakistani prisoners languishing in Saudi jails.

Back in February 2019, the premier had requested the Saudi crown prince to release Pakistani prisoners in Saudi jails during his visit to the country.

Following PM’s request, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman had ordered the release of 2,107 Pakistani prisoners in Saudi Arabia.

“We are setting up a helpline at the embassy which will work 24 hours a day," said the Pakistani ambassador, adding that the Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia can use the helpline to communicate the problems and issues they are facing in the kingdom.

In addition, a community service program will be launched to address their concerns, added Lt Gen (retd) Bilal Akbar.