PM stresses upon strengthening of economic dimension of Pak-Saudi ties

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia to work on easing travel restrictions

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday while reaffirming the deep-rooted and historic bonds between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, particularly emphasized upon the need of strengthening the economic dimension of these ties by taking steps to realize the vast possibilities in trade, investment and energy.

The prime minister was talking to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud who called on him.

The Covid situation in the two countries and in the South Asia was also discussed.

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.

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

He also 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 building solid foundations of bilateral cooperation.

Noting the difficulties being faced by Pakistani nationals due to Covid-related travel restrictions, the prime minister underlined the importance of timely measures for facilitation of their return to Saudi Arabia.

He thanked for the administration of Covid-19 vaccines to Pakistanis living in the Kingdom.

The prime minister conveyed cordial greetings for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and fondly recalled his visit to Saudi Arabia in May.

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.

Thanking the prime minister for the warm welcome accorded to the Saudi delegation, Prince Faisal underscored the importance that Saudi Arabia attached to its strong relationship with Pakistan, based on bonds of brotherhood.

He reaffirmed the resolve to taking all possible measures to further strengthen the bilateral relationship under the strategic direction set by the crown prince and the prime minister.

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

Earlier, in a joint presser at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal vowed to continue lending support to each other on issues of regional and international importance.

JOINT PRESS STAKEOUT BY FOREIGN MINISTER MAKHDOOM SHAH MAHMOOD QURESHI AND FOREIGN MINISTER OF SAUDI ARABIA H.H PRINCE FAISAL BIN FARHAN AL SAUD AT MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ON JULY 27, 2021.

Prince Faisal, who arrived in Islamabad Tuesday, earlier led the delegation-level talks with Qureshi that encompassed a wide range of matters.

He said: “We hope to build on the momentum of strong bonds based on our brotherhood, as the two countries have always stood by each other in difficult times.”

He termed the talks as “very, very fruitful discussions” held on bilateral matters with all areas of the broader spectrum coming under discussion, with a special focus on economic ties.

The Saudi foreign minister said Riyadh would encourage businessmen from both sides to explore opportunities for investment in areas of technology.

He also assured extending facilitation to travellers from Pakistan especially in areas of visa restrictions linked to the Covid-19 vaccination.

On climate change, he expressed Saudi Arabia’s commitment to continue working with Pakistan as the country pursued the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan of achieving goals of preservation of the environment.

Prince Faisal appreciated the contributions of the Pakistani community towards the development of Saudi Arabia.

“We are working to lighten the travel restrictions for passengers from Pakistan and also making sure that the Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia gets vaccinated,” he said.

He said Pakistan had done “exceptionally well” in overcoming the pandemic.

The Saudi diplomat said security was the key factor in ensuring economic prosperity and vowed to facilitate the efforts for peace, whether in Kashmir, Palestine or Afghanistan.

Qureshi, while calling the visiting diplomat “my friend and my brother”, said at the bilateral front, Pakistan was “comfortable with how things were moving”.

He said the talks focused on ways to improve economic linkages through bilateral trade and investments.

Qureshi also mentioned that Monday’s senior officials-level talks about the structure of the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council for its activation. “Focal persons from both foreign ministries have been appointed to materialise a structured and institutionalised way of looking at our bilateral relations,” he said.

He thanked Riyadh for supporting the stance of Pakistan on the Kashmir dispute.

In Afghanistan, he said, both sides shared similar objectives of ensuring peace and stability.

He said easing up of travel restrictions amid the coronavirus situation also came under discussion, where the Saudi side agreed to extend facilitation.

He said the Pakistani workforce could contribute positively towards the implementation of Saudi Vision 2030.

Qureshi mentioned that the two sides agreed to strengthen cultural linkages and cooperation in fighting against climate change.

Earlier, the two sides held delegation-level talks to discuss bilateral matters besides the issues of regional and international importance.

Qureshi led the Pakistani side, while Prince Faisal represented the delegation of Saudi Arabia.

In his welcome remarks, Foreign Minister Qureshi said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoyed commonalities in their relationship based on religion, culture and history.

Qureshi said the two countries stood by each other in difficult times, adding that Pakistan was committed to the security and solidarity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

He lauded the active role played by Saudi Arabia for peace in the region, particularly reducing tension in the Gulf.

He expressed gratitude to the government of Saudi Arabia for supporting Pakistan’s stance on Indian revocation of the special status of occupied Kashmir.

Before departure, the Saudi foreign minister planted a sapling at the lawns of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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