Politics, Middle East, Asia - Pacific

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia vow to strengthen 'historic bonds'

Pakistani premier holds wide-ranging talks with Saudi Arabia's crown prince in Jeddah

Aamir Latif   | 08.05.2021
Pakistan, Saudi Arabia vow to strengthen 'historic bonds'

KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan’s prime minister met the crown prince of Saudi Arabia in Jeddah on Saturday to discuss bilateral, regional, and international issues, including the Afghan peace dialogue and the Kashmir dispute.

Imran Khan and Mohammed bin Salman reaffirmed the strong and historic bonds between the two countries rooted firmly in shared beliefs, common values, mutual trust, and longstanding tradition of mutual support, according to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Khan, who is on a three-day visit to the oil-rich kingdom, reiterated Pakistan’s “abiding” support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia.

He outlined his vision for a peaceful region to advance objectives of national economic development and highlighted Islamabad’s “consistent” efforts to support peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

He also stressed the need for peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

The two sides agreed to further strengthen, deepen, and diversify their existing bilateral political, economic, trade, defense, and security ties, according to the statement.

Special emphasis was laid on increasing Saudi investments in Pakistan, collaboration in the field of energy, and increased job opportunities for Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia, it added.

Khan also thanked the Saudi leadership for taking considerate measures for the welfare of Pakistani expatriates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two leaders signed the Agreement on Establishment of the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council (SPSCC), the statement added.

The council, co-chaired by the premier and the crown prince, is “designed to impart strategic direction to the development of Pakistan-Saudi relations.”

They also witnessed the signing of a number of bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoU).

These included an “agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Combating Crimes; agreement on Transfer of Convicted Individuals (Prisoners); MoU on Combating Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursor Chemicals; and Framework MoU for financing of projects (totaling up to $500 million) in energy, hydropower generation, infrastructure, transport and communication and water resource development.”

The Pakistani prime minister also invited the Saudi crown prince to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience, the statement added.

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