Nawaz, King Salman vow to strengthen ties in diverse fields

RIYADH: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Wednesday emphasized the importance of Pakistan-Saudi relations and vowed to strengthen them further in various fields.

The two leaders held extensive talks covering bilateral relations, and regional and international issues here at the King’s Palace in the Saudi capital.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who arrived here earlier in the  afternoon on an official visit, was accorded a warm reception, with  King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud personally greeting him at the  King Khalid International Airport.

The King was accompanied by Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, the Second Crown Prince and Second Deputy Prime Minister Muhammad bin Naif, Governor of Riyadh Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, and a number of royal princes, cabinet ministers as well as high military and civil officials.

During the talks, the Prime Minister expressed the confidence that during the reign of King Salman bin Abdulaziz relations between the two countries would touch new heights.

King Salman said that Saudi Arabia attached great importance to its relations with Pakistan and would like to see them further strengthened. He said Saudi Arabia would like Pakistan to prosper and develop.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were tied in bonds of shared faith and enjoyed excellent relations since the independence of Pakistan.

Being the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques the Saudi King had a special place in the heart of each Pakistani, he said.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan would like to further strengthen ties with its brotherly Islamic country in all fields, particularly trade, investment, energy, infrastructure development and several others.

King Salman said that Saudi Arabia would be happy to strengthen its relations with Pakistan in all fields of possible cooperation.

He particularly mentioned the need for increased interaction between the business communities of the two countries.

The Prime Minister thanked the Saudi leadership for providing valuable assistance to Pakistan in the time of need. Saudi Arabia had a special place among Muslim Ummah, he added.

Both the leaders also discussed matters relating to the region and agreed that terrorism and extremism were common enemies and the two countries would continue to cooperate with each other in the field of security.

The Prime Minister extended an invitation to King Salman to visit Pakistan which he accepted.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is on a three-day visit to Saudi  Arabia on the special invitation of the Saudi King.

This is the Prime Minister’s first visit to the Kingdom since  King Salman bin Abdulaziz assumed the throne.

This also is his first official visit to Saudi Arabia since assuming office in  June 2013.

The Saudi King also hosted a lunch in honour of the Prime Minister, which was attended by a large number of ministers, members of the royal family and local dignitaries.

Earlier, upon arrival at the Royal Terminal of King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, the Prime Minister was given red carpet reception.

A smartly turned out contingent presented the guard of honour and national anthems of both the countries were played.

During his visit, the Prime Minister will also perform Umra and visit the Roza of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), in addition to meeting members of the Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia.

Minister for Finance, Ishaq Dar, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Manzoor Ul Haq also accompanied the Prime Minister.