ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will leave for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on a one-day on Saturday.
Imran’s visit is part of Pakistan’s continued efforts to facilitate rapprochement between Riyadh and Tehran.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, also accompanied by the head of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), visited Riyadh on Wednesday and is believed to have laid the ground for the premier’s visit.
The flurry of visits by Pakistani civil and military leadership to Saudi Arabia and Iran over the past few weeks suggested that there might be ‘some breakthrough’ in the diplomatic manoeuvres initiated by Islamabad.
This would be Prime Minister Imran’s fourth visit to Saudi Arabia since May. In October, he also travelled to Iran following his meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York in September.
The army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and the ISI Director General Lt-Gen Faiz Hameed also visited Iran. General Qamar’s visit to Tehran in November was considered significant as he, according to a media report, was carrying important message for the Iranian leadership on behalf of Saudis.
Pakistan has been trying to seek a patch-up between Iran and Saudi Arabia since September when the Saudi oil facilities came under missile attacks.
Speaking at the weekly news briefing, Foreign office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said high-level exchanges between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are the ‘hallmark of the brotherly relationship.’
“You have witnessed the high frequency of leadership level exchanges, especially since last August. The prime minister has undertaken at least 3 visits to KSA since May this year,” he added.