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September 24, 2018

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Saudi Arabia stood by Pakistan through thick and thin: envoy

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Islamabad Nawaf Saeed Al-Maliki has said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to choose Saudi Arabia as the destination of his first official visit abroad confirmed that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan considered the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the first country in the list of its strategic allies.

“This visit carries many messages, the most important of which is that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan ties are like one soul and two bodies which cannot be separated,” he said in an interview to Al Arabiya.

Al-Maliki said the first foreign visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan included cooperation in the fields of economy and culture as well as military, and it would be followed by subsequent visits.

He said Khan's visit to Saudi Arabia had many dimensions as it would help in further strengthening and deepening the bilateral, brotherly, strategic and economic relations, underscoring that Saudi Arabia had always stood with Pakistan in difficult times and crises.

He said Khan's choice of Saudi Arabia for his first official visit confirmed the sincere expression of the new government of Pakistan that Saudi Arabia was its important strategic ally. “It is expected that the visit has given firm impression to public opinion in the world that Pakistan considers Saudi Arabia as its preferred country and first ally,” he added.

He stressed that Pakistani Muslim brothers considered the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as centre of their direction due to existence of Makkah and Madinah. He said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was housing more than 2.5 million Pakistanis expatriates who worked in different fields and contributed in further strengthening and deepening of bilateral relations.

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