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Saudi Arabias Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud (left) meets President Asif Ali Zardari at Aiwan-e-Sadr on March 23, 2024. — PID
Saudi Arabia’s Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud (left) meets President Asif Ali Zardari at Aiwan-e-Sadr on March 23, 2024. — PID 
  • Zardari for further increasing bilateral cooperation in various fields.
  • Pakistan greatly values its relations with Saudi Arabia, says PM.
  • Both countries should support each other, says Saudi minister.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia Saturday reiterated their firm resolve to work together and further deepen their bilateral cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two brotherly nations.

The development came during a meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and Saudi Arabia’s Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud, who called on him at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

During the meeting, President Zardari said that Pakistan accorded utmost importance to its relations with the kingdom as both countries enjoyed a fraternal bond, marked by shared faith and historical relations.

He underscored the need for further increasing bilateral cooperation in various fields. The president deeply thanked Riyadh for the support provided to Islamabad during challenging times.

He lauded the leadership of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud and the vision of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud that would propel Saudi Arabia towards remarkable progress.

The Saudi defence minister highlighted that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoyed strong historical, strategic and defence cooperation.

He further stated that both countries should work together and support each other to further deepen bilateral relations. He highlighted that his country believed in regional prosperity and had succeeded in increasing economic integration.

Earlier in the day, the president, in recognition of his meritorious services towards further strengthening bilateral cooperation and his contribution towards peace in the region, conferred the Nishan-i-Pakistan award on Prince Khalid.

President Asif Ali Zardari (right) conferred Nishan-i-Pakistan award on Saudi Arabias Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud on March 23, 2024. — PID
President Asif Ali Zardari (right) conferred Nishan-i-Pakistan award on Saudi Arabia’s Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud on March 23, 2024. — PID

President Zardari congratulated Prince Khalid on the conferment of the award and thanked him for his role in promoting defence ties.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir and Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki were also present during the meeting.

PM Shehbaz, Saudi minister discuss regional issues

Later in the day, the Saudi defence minister called on PM Shehbaz at the Prime Minister House and discussed in detail bilateral matters, regional peace, security and the situation in the region.

Defense Minister Khawaja Asif and the army chief also attended the meeting. They also exchanged views on increasing cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in the areas of defence and security.

Saudi Arabias Defence Minister Prince Khalid Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud calls on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif here at the Prime Minister House on March 23, 2024. — APP
Saudi Arabia’s Defence Minister Prince Khalid Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud calls on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif here at the Prime Minister House on March 23, 2024. — APP

PM Shehbaz congratulated the Saudi defence minister on receiving Pakistan’s highest civil award Nishan-e-Pakistan. He thanked the visiting dignitary for attending the Pakistan Day parade as a special guest.

The PM expressed best wishes for Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud.

Talking to the Saudi minister, the premier said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had close brotherly ties based on commonalities of religion, history and culture, which were further strengthening with the passage of time.

“Pakistan greatly value its relations with Saudi Arabia,” he said adding Riyadh fully supported Pakistan on every front.

He said the people of Pakistan had a special place in their hearts for the Saudi royal family. While mentioning, Special Investment Facilitation Council, the premier said one window operation was created for the investors through the establishment of the council, which would facilitate business activities and investment.

He said immense opportunities were present in Pakistan in different fields including agriculture, information technology and mining. The PM underlined the need for further cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in the fields of defence and economy.

The PM reiterated his earlier invitation and said Pakistan was waiting to welcome the visit of the Saudi crown prince.

The Saudi defence minister felicitated the PM on assuming his office and expressed best wishes to him. He thanked Pakistan for inviting him as a special guest for Pakistan Day parade and said he had the opportunity to witness the best capabilities of Armed Forces of Pakistan during the parade.

He said the recent visit of COAS General Munir to Riyadh was very important and fruitful in further promoting defence relations between the two countries.

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