Saturday September 25, 2021

Pakistan, KSA agree to work on Kashmir, Palestine, Yemen

Pakistan, KSA agree to work on Kashmir, Palestine, Yemen

ISLAMABAD: Noting the difficulties being faced by Pakistani nationals due to corona-related travel restrictions, Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday underlined the importance of timely measures for facilitation of their return to Saudi Arabia.

The prime minister thanked for the administration of corona vaccines to Pakistanis living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The COVID-19 situation in the two countries and in South Asia was discussed during Premier Imran Khan’s meeting with Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud here.

The prime minister extended a warm welcome to the foreign minister and reaffirmed deep-rooted and historic bonds between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The foreign minister conveyed cordial greetings for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques His Majesty King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The prime minister fondly recalled his visit to Saudi Arabia in May 2021. In line with the decisions taken on the occasion, the prime minister highlighted the assiduous follow-up and stressed the need for exploring new avenues of cooperation to further deepen bilateral relations in diverse fields.

The premier particularly emphasised the need for strengthening the economic dimension of the relationship and taking steps for realising the vast possibilities in the trade, investment and energy fields.

Imran Khan appreciated the work related to activation of the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council (SPSCC), which is the highest level platform designed to impart strategic direction to the development of Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relations.

The prime minister lauded the important role of Pakistan’s community in Saudi Arabia in progress and development of the two countries. He underlined that the strong people-to-people linkages helped build solid foundations of bilateral cooperation.

On the situation in Afghanistan, the prime minister underscored the need for constructive engagement among the Afghan parties for securing a negotiated political settlement, which was critically important for peace and stability in the region.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy close fraternal relations, marked by close cooperation and mutual support. Saudi Arabia is a member of OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir and steadfastly supports the Kashmir cause.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan agreed to work together on regional issues related to Kashmir, Palestine and Yemen with Saudi Arabia assuring Pakistan that both sides would work together to ensure stability in both their regions.

Pakistan says that Saudi Arabia has shown clarity and consistency in supporting Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. Both countries have also decided to appoint a focal person at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pakistan and in Saudi Arabia to oversee the progress on the bilateral front, which both countries say would institutionalise bilateral relations.

Both countries also agreed to expand the dimensions of their bilateral relations through the SPSCC. Saudi Arabia says that there were expectations that the SPSCC would turn out to be a milestone in taking bilateral relations to new levels while also institutionalizing and exploring all possible opportunities.

These points were raised during a meeting between Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud at the Foreign Office. Qureshi said that during the meeting he highlighted the hardships being faced by Pakistani nationals due to current COVID-related travel restrictions.

“We hope that in view of the improved situation on the ground in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia would take steps to facilitate their travel to the Kingdom,” he told the joint press conference. During delegation level talks, Qureshi highlighted the human rights situation in IIOJ&K and underlined Pakistan’s principled position on the peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in line with the UNSC resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people. The foreign minister thanked the kingdom for its steadfast support for the Kashmir cause. The Saudi foreign minister emphasised the importance of enhancing economic ties, saying that it had been the main focus of his discussion with Qureshi prior to the press conference.