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May 10, 2021

KSA will work to calm Pak-India tensions: Faisal

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud. File photo

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud Sunday said his country will work to encourage reduction in tension between Pakistan and India.

"On relationship with India, I really want to commend what has been achieved recently of a calming of tensions and a ceasefire. This is an excellent step in the right direction," he said. His remarks came during an interview telecast live on Radio Pakistan.

Talking about the Afghan situation, he said Afghan peace was critical not only for Pakistan’s security, but also for the global security. He said Pakistan had very important role to play for a peaceful Afghanistan and the Kingdom would work closely with the international community to help Afghanistan find security and stability.

He said the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan 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 subjects covered,” he said.

Prince Faisal said during the interaction, the two leaderships had the main focus on economic cooperation, facilitation of greater investment and trade. He said Saudi Arabia hosted two million Pakistanis, who had contributed hugely towards the development of the nation.

He said during the visit, the two countries worked together to enhance cooperation on the issues of bilateral 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 institutionalize and nurture the political, security cooperation and most importantly the economic cooperation.

He said bilateral relations existed since long but the two countries had not exploited the existed potential. Referring to the joint statement issued on Saturday after the interaction of two leaderships, the Saudi foreign minister said both the sides would work to activate the council to exploit the potential and achieve the tangible results.

He commented that the Saudi crown prince fondly remembered his last Pakistan visit as his favorite visit and that he also looked forward to visiting Pakistan at a yet to be coordinated time. Calling it a dangerous trend, he appreciated Pakistan’s role to counter Islamophobia 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 the heart,” he said, adding that Saudi Arabia was working closely with Imran 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 a 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 bin Farhan said the real focus of the leadership during the visit was economic relationship and build stronger investment climate between the two nations to facilitate investors from both sides.

He told the questioners that the Saudi Arabia had undergone some significant labor reforms showing flexibility and allowing the workers to transfer their work from one employer to another. Under Vision 2030, the Saudi government plans to grow employment basis of the Kingdom that would also open up opportunities for Pakistani nationals as well as businesses.