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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Pak-Saudi delegations bilateral relations: Saudi to invest $500m

The Saudi foreign minister is visiting Pakistan to address issues of mutual interest. Pakistan's role in the Afghan Pace Process is one of the reasons KSA is taking interest in Pakistan.

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Senior high-level delegations of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia met here Monday to discuss the bilateral relations, in a run-up to the visit of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.

Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, on his Twitter handle, posted that the key focus of the meeting was on Saudi-Pak Supreme Coordination Council, the highest-level platform which provided strategic direction to the bilateral ties.

The Saudi side was led by Ambassador Eid Al-Thaqafi, he further added.

Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud will be visiting Pakistan on Tuesday (July 27).

The Saudi foreign minister, visiting Pakistan at the invitation of Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, will be accompanied by a delegation comprising senior officials of the Saudi Government.

Read more: Saudi FM coming to Pakistan to settle MBS visit

During the visit, the two foreign ministers will exchange views on the entire gamut of bilateral relations, and regional and international issues. The Saudi foreign minister will call on other dignitaries as well during the visit, the Foreign Office said in an earlier statement in the day.

Saudi development fund

According to the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to give strategic direction to their ties through the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council (SP-SCC), the Saudi Development Fund will finance projects worth $500 million in Pakistan.

The projects which will be initiated will be related to the sectors of energy, hydropower generation, infrastructure, transport, communication and water resource development.

Prime Minister Imran Khan went on a three-dayĀ visitĀ to Saudi Arabia on Friday to enhance historically close relations between the two allied nations.

Read more: Pakistanis from Saudi Arabia send more money than we borrowed from IMF

The visit took place at the invitation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was present at the Jeddah Airport to receive Khan and his high-powered delegation.

The SP-SCC, which will be co-chaired by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Prime Minister Imran Khan, was established after the two leaders signed an agreement in this regard late on Friday night. Khan and Mohammad Bin Salman later held delegation-level talks that Pakistanā€™s military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa was also a part of.

Bajwa was already in Saudi Arabia to discuss bilateral defense cooperation.

Pak-Saudi ties to become stronger

In a press conference, FM Qureshi expressed that Pak-Saudi bilateral relations are going in the right direction and can only become more strong.

To further improve economic linkages between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, FM Qureshi announced the establishment and activation of the Saudi Pakistan Supreme Consultative Council (SPSCC). He also stated that sufficient progress was made on the SPSCC organizational structure and work plan in yesterday’s meeting.

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan decided to have a focal person in both the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to oversee the project.

In an interesting development and on the request of Pakistanis living in Saudi Arabia, the two countries decided to expand cultural linkages. FM Qureshi stated that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan will look into promoting Pakistan’s media in Saudi Arabia.

Read more: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia both necessity of each other: FM

On climate change, FM Qureshi stressed the need for international cooperation. He also acknowledged Saudi Arabia’s Green Initiative and Imran Khan’s efforts against global warming.

FM Qureshi also thanked Saudi Arabia for its unwavering and “phenomenal” support to Pakistan. He also appreciated Saudi Arabia’s support for Jammu and Kashmir and how the OIC has shown a clear stance on the issue.

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan also had an in-depth discussion on the evolving situation in Afghanistan, and share a similar perspective.

While talking about the challenges faced by the Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia in light of the travel restrictions and Covid, FM Qureshi stated that the two countries are working together to facilitate the community.

Lastly, FM Qureshi and the Saudi FM discussed the economic opportunities of CPEC for Saudi investors.

After FM Qureshi finished his statement, the Saudi FM took over and thanked Pakistan for the warm hospitality he and his delegation received. While calling FM Qureshi his brother, the Saudi FM expressed that he is always happy to visit Islamabad.

Read more: Saudi Arabia & Pakistan grow closer: India left out?

APP with additional input by GVS News Desk