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Pakistan, Saudi Arabia reaffirm resolve to stand by each other ‘at all times’

JEDDAH: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, reaffirming their intention to stand by each other at all times, expressed their desire to further enhance and diversify bilateral cooperation and to continue close coordination on issues of mutual interest.

Based on their decades old fraternal ties, both the countries expressed complete solidarity with each other in their efforts at preserving their sovereignty and territorial integrity, said a statement issued by Foreign Office at the conclusion of two-day state visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia.

The prime minister, who was accompanied by Minister for Foreign Affairs Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Finance Asad Umar, Minister for Information Fawad Ahmed, and Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razaq Dawood visited the Kingdom at the invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Majesty, King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

During the visit, the prime minister also held a meeting with Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. The two leaders accompanied by their ministers and senior officials, held detailed discussions on ways to strengthen bilateral relationship and on the regional political and security situation.

They exchanged ideas on enhancing cooperation in political, defense, economic, commercial and cultural sectors, developing joint ventures in line with their respective developmental needs, strengthening collaboration in human resource sector and addressing the issues faced by Pakistani expatriates in Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia reaffirmed their historical and brotherly ties, rooted in bonds of common religion, shared culture and values and quest for regional and global peace and security. Both sides expressed satisfaction at the convergence of views on a host of regional and global issues, as well as the issues faced by Muslim Ummah.

The Saudi leadership congratulated Pakistan on its successful democratic transition, in a peaceful and fair manner, and felicitated the Prime Minister on his election.

Appreciating the prime minister’s ideal of transforming his country into a welfare state based on Islamic socio-economic principles, the Saudi leadership assured Pakistan of its maximum assistance. Pakistan thanked Saudi Arabia for its steadfast and continued support.

The Prime Minister briefed the Saudi leadership on Pakistan’s successes and sacrifices in its fight against terrorism, highlighting the role of actors trying to destabilize Pakistan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly rejected the efforts to promote religious extremism, sectarianism and terrorism. The Saudi leadership apprised the prime minister of the steps taken by the Kingdom to curb extremism and terrorism, and shared views on the forces spreading extremist ideologies in the region.

The two countries acknowledged each others’ efforts and sacrifices and pledged to continue their partnership to defeat the scourge of extremism and terrorism. They agreed on the need to promote peace and security to ensure progress, development and prosperity. In that regard, they also agreed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation, as well as their collaboration at the regional and multilateral forums.

The prime minister informed the Saudi leadership about the plight of the Muslims of Indian Occupied Kashmir, suffering grievous human rights violations. Mentioning the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, he stressed the need for Islamic solidarity and unity in raising the issue forcefully at the UN Human Rights Council.

The two countries reaffirmed their commitment to the just struggle of the Palestinian people to restore their rights and achieve the independence of the state of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital. They also stressed that the international community must respect the just struggle of the people living under foreign occupation and the legitimate right to self-determination, as enshrined in the United Nations Charter.

With a view to developing tangible and meaningful bilateral cooperation in key areas, the two countries agreed to intensify consultations and coordination in order to strengthen their strategic partnership.

Prime Minister Khan invited the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman at an early date. The offer was accepted, in principle, by the Saudi leadership.

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