Qureshi meets Saudi counterpart amid rising tensions in Middle East | Pakistan Today

Qureshi meets Saudi counterpart amid rising tensions in Middle East

MAKKAH: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a meeting with his Saudi counterpart Ibrahim Al Assaf here on Wednesday amid rising tensions in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia is hosting Islamic, Arab and Gulf summits this week as tensions between Iran and the US raised fears of military escalation.

The three summits allow the US ally the chance to present unified Islamic, Arab and Gulf fronts against its arch-rival Iran.

Tehran has not yet confirmed whether it will attend the meeting of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), of which it is a member.

The two foreign ministers discussed a range of subjects including bilateral political exchanges, intensified economic and financial interaction, and follow-up on the release of Pakistani prisoners on the sidelines of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting in Jeddah.

Extending a warm welcome to Qureshi, the Saudi minister described the Pakistan-Saudi relationship as both historic and strategic, built on strong foundations, according to a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

The foreign minister congratulated the kingdom on organising the OIC summit and related meetings and wished a successful outcome of the efforts.

Agreeing with his counterpart, Qureshi underscored the importance Pakistan attaches to traditionally close and cordial bilateral relationship, ‘marked by mutual trust, understanding and support for each other’.

Recalling the successful visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to Pakistan earlier this year, the foreign minister termed it as a ‘high point’ in bilateral ties, providing strategic direction to the relationship.

Foreign Minister Qureshi also thanked the Saudi leadership for their steadfast support to Pakistan on a range of key issues. Saudi Arabia remains an active member of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.

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