Wednesday May 29, 2024

Riyadh to further strengthen ties with Islamabad

By Tahir Khalil & Mumtaz Alvi
September 09, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Information Minister Awwad Bin Saleh Al Awwad Saturday called on Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and expressed the Saudi leadership's desire to work with the new Pakistani government.

The foreign minister welcomed the wishes of the Saudi leadership, stressing need for promoting economic cooperation between the two countries, a spokesperson for the Foreign Office said. The two figures agreed to further strengthen contacts between the two countries. Qureshi also invited Saudi investors for investment in Pakistan.

The Saudi information minister later called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and discussed matters of mutual interest with him, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

The visiting dignitary lauded the strong and brotherly bilateral ties, the ISPR added, reaffirming Saudi Arabia's full support to Pakistan in its efforts towards peace and stability.

Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad also called on Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain here.

They agreed to further strengthen the existing bilateral relations in the field of information and culture.

Dr. Awwad said his country looked forward to working with the new government in Pakistan and that bilateral relations would be expanded and cemented further.

The two ministers exchanged views on bilateral relations and issues of common interest.

Fawad said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were locked in brotherhood and that Islamabad attached special importance to its relations with Riyadh.

Afterwards, a function was arranged at the residence of Saudi Ambassador Nawaf Saeed Al-Maliki here in honour of the visiting Saudi minister.

Fawad and other senior government officials were also present.

In his speech, the Saudi minister noted that Pak-Saudi relations were not only deep-rooted at government to government level, but also between the two nations.

He emphasised that there was need to enhance relations between the media of the two countries and presently various proposals were under consideration.

He pointed out that the Pakistani media had recently covered the pilgrimage.

Already, he added trade relations between Riyadh and Islamabad were very strong and they were keen on further enhancing them.

Speaking on the 2030 vision of Saudi Arabia, the visiting minister said the vision 2030 was a comprehensive programme, which would guarantee development in all spheres of life.

It would, he continued, also enable the Saudi Arabian youth to come forward and play a role in nation-building and also empower the females.

The minister maintained that they wanted to strengthen the Saudi economy to an extent that it would not reply on any other country for any particular sector, harnessing different resources and means to achieve the objective.

He also met with the National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser during which Fawad and Saudi ambassador were also present.

The two sides deliberated on important bilateral, regional and global matters.

Asad Qaiser said relations between the two countries were time-tested and they had always supported each other on regional and international issues.

He said bilateral relations were not confined to the formality of foreign affairs ministries rather the bonds were rooted deep in the hearts of two peoples.

He pointed out that Pakistani Parliament was geared up for further strengthening bilateral relations and that there was a long history of mutual cooperation between the two nations.

He said Saudi Arabia had invested significantly in different projects in Pakistan and over 2.6 million Pakistanis were rendering services in Saudi Arabia, reflecting common interests.

The NA speaker underscored the need for expanding and strengthening bilateral relations, keeping in view the affinity and brotherhood.

He said views were exchanged during the meeting about the jailed Pakistanis and how to address problems of those working there.

The Saudi minister described relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as unique in nature and appreciated the NA speaker for the views he expressed on the Pak-Saudi relations.

He said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were close friends and allies and assured cooperation on behalf of his government to Asad Qaiser with regard to different sectors of life.

He was confident that the existing relations would gain more strengthen with the enhanced contacts between the two governments and members of parliaments.

The Saudi minister assured the NA speaker that the issues of jailed Pakistanis and others working in Saudi Arabia would be addressed on a priority basis.