ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al Saud has said the Kingdom can play a role to reduce the tension between Pakistan and India and commended the recent ceasefire between the neighbouring countries as an “excellent step in right direction”.
He made the remarks in response to a question during an interview with state run Pakistan Television via video link.
As Prime Minister Imran Khan was on a three-day tour to Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al Saud said the visit was “extremely important” in the history of bilateral relations.
“The visit of Imran Khan is extremely important in the history of the brotherly relations… We have an excellent visit of the Prime Minister and many, many subjects covered,” the Saudi foreign minister said.
He said during the interaction, the two leaderships had a main focus on economic cooperation, facilitation of greater investment and trade. He said Saudi Arabia hosts a large two million Pakistanis who have contributed greatly to the development of the nation.
He said during the visit, the two countries worked together to enhance cooperation on bilateral issues as well those concerning the Muslim Ummah.
To a question, Prince Faisal said the agreement for establishment of Supreme Coordination Council was extremely important to institutionalise and nurture political and security cooperation and most importantly, economic cooperation.
He said bilateral relations existed since long, but two countries had not exploited the existing potential. Referring to the joint statement issued on Saturday after the interaction of the two leaderships, the Saudi foreign minister said both the sides would work to activate the council to exploit the potential and achieve tangible results.
He commented that the Saudi Crown Prince remembered his last visit to Pakistan very fondly as his favourite visit and that he also looked forward to visiting Pakistan at a yet to be coordinated time.
Calling Islamophobia a dangerous trend, he appreciated Pakistan’s role to counter it and said the OIC should be used to address the issue of intolerance. He said there must be a dialogue on how to address the escalating tone of disrespect of Islam and Muslim nations needed to be together to address the issue.
“We are very proud that Pakistan is taking it to heart,” he commented, saying that Saudi Arabia was working closely with Khan to address the concerns.
Asked about the green initiatives of Saudi government, he said Pakistan had also a leading role in that regard like 10 Billion Tree Tsunami and that the country had already made very impressive progress. “I am sure we will work together to align both the initiatives and to learn from each other and benefit from each other’s experiences.
“Strong bilateral relations mean that we can partner on issues not only bilateral but also of global nature,” he remarked.
Responding to a question, Prince Faisal said the real focus of the leadership during the visit was economic relationship and building a stronger investment climate between the two nations to facilitate investors from both sides.
He told the questioners that Saudi Arabia had undergone some significant labour reforms showing flexibility and allowing workers to transfer their work from one employer to another.
Under vision 2030, the Saudi government has plans to grow employment basis of the Kingdom that would also open up opportunities for Pakistani nationals as well as businesses.
Touching upon the Afghan situation, he said Afghan peace was critical not for Pakistan’s security but also global security. He said Pakistan had very important role to play for peaceful Afghanistan and the Kingdom would work closely with the international community to help Afghanistan find security and stability.
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