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Saudi Arabia to join CPEC soon: envoy

By Asim Yasin & Tahir Khalil & Tanveer Hashmi
September 22, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan Nawaf Saeed Ahmed Al-Malkiy has said that his country will soon join the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and make investment at Gwadar Port to play a role in the progress and prosperity of Pakistan.

In a panel interview to The News/Jang, ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan spoke on the issue of brotherly relations, strategic and bilateral trade relations between the two countries and said that solid steps were being taken for enhancement of trade between the two brotherly countries.

He said in the recent visit of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to Saudi Arabia where he held meeting with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia and it was agreed in the meeting that new avenues be explored for enhancing the trade volume between the two countries.

Nawaf Saeed Ahmed Al- Malkiy said that the people of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had strong and brotherly relations and these would further be strengthened with the exchange of cultural delegations. “More than three million Pakistanis are playing their role in the progress and prosperity of Saudi Arabia,” he said.

He said Saudi Arabia believed if Pakistan was strong, it would strengthen Saudi Arabia. Saudi ambassador said that Saudi Arabia gave importance to Pakistan Army and strategic relations with Pakistan and it could be gauged with the fact that Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa after assuming the charge of Chief of Army Staff paid his first visit to Saudi Arabia.

He said that Islamic Coalition forces in the command of General (R) Raheel Sharif were not against anyone and its main aim was to enhance the capabilities in a fight against terrorism. “Pakistan’s role in eliminating terrorism is praiseworthy,” he said.

Nawaf Saeed Ahmed Al-Malkiy said that the objective of giving the command of Islami coalition forces to General (R) Raheel Sharif was to enhance the capacity building of the defence forces against terrorism and exchange and share the intelligence information. He said Islam is religion of peace and it was must that scholars and intellectuals should sit together for creating harmony through interfaith dialogue. “Saudi Arabia believes that interfaith dialogue is the need of time as Islam is misunderstood in Europe and Islam is a religion of peace and it has nothing to do with the terrorism,” he said and added that a King Abdullah Center was established in Riyadh, which was working for the interfaith dialogue.

He said in the recent years, the interfaith dialogues were held in the United Sates and also in other countries which would not only help in creating interfaith harmony but also understanding the real message of Islam, which is peace.

Saudi ambassador said during the recent visit of Prime Minister Abbasi to Saudi Arabia where he held meeting with Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, it was decided to establish two groups for enhancing the bilateral trade between the two countries.

He said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia agreed to further enhance the cooperation in the fields of health, education, sports and others.

He said Saudi Arabia would offer scholarships to Pakistani students in universities of Saudi Arabia in electrical and mechanical engineering, science and technology and in other fields and the process in this regard would be started in next two to three weeks. “The exchange of experts and cultural delegations would be ensured between the two countries,” he said.

In a reply to a question, he said, “The Muslim youth needs opportunities in the fields of science and technology as we could compete with the world only through excellence in science and technology.”

To another question, he said Saudi Arabia had proud that every Pakistanis was ready to defend the Harmain Sharifain.