Islamabad: December 15, 2019(Handout)
As part of regular exchanges at the leadership level between Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Saudi Arabia yesterday. The Prime Minister held wide-ranging consultations with Crown Prince His Royal Highness Mohammed Bin Salman covering bilateral matters and developments in the regional context.
The Prime Minister emphasized the strategic importance of Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relationship and termed it as a pivotal partnership for peace, progress and prosperity. The Prime Minister extended warm felicitations on Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s assumption of G20 Presidency. The Prime Minister said this was a reflection of the Kingdom’s leadership role and stature in the international community. Pakistan wished Saudi Arabia a highly successful G20 Presidency. In the bilateral context, the Prime Minister underscored the unique strength of Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relations, based on mutual trust and understanding.
The Prime Minister noted that high level visits were the hallmark of the relationship and Crown Prince HRH Mohammed Bin Salman’s visit to Pakistan in February 2019 had ushered in a new era of deeper engagement across the economic, investment, energy, security and defence, and people-to-people domains. The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the ongoing bilateral cooperation between the two countries. It was noted that the establishment of the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council (SPSCC) had provided a firm institutional mechanism to advance bilateral cooperation in diverse fields in a robust manner.
The two sides hoped to further advance this process during the second meeting of the SPSCC expected to take place early next year. The Prime Minister apprised Crown Prince HRH Mohammed Bin Salman of the latest situation in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir, marked by continuous lockdown and other restrictions since 5 August 2019. This was accompanied by India’s belligerent rhetoric and actions on the Line of Control. The Prime Minister thanked Saudi Arabia for its traditional support to the Kashmir cause, including its active role in the OIC Contact Group on Jammu & Kashmir. The two sides discussed ways of further advancing the Kashmir cause through the OIC and other means. In the context of the Middle East, the Prime Minister reiterated Pakistan’s perspective that disputes and differences be resolved through political and diplomatic means. Pakistan would continue to facilitate all efforts in that direction with a view to precluding conflict, defusing tensions and preserving peace for the benefit of the region and the world.
The Saudi side offered all possible support in the development of tourism sector in Pakistan. In this context it was agreed that Saudi team would undertake a visit to Pakistan soon. This was Prime Minister Imran Khan’s fourth visit to Saudi Arabia since May 2019, reflecting the importance attached by Pakistan to this strategic partnership. The leadership on both sides remains determined to take Pakistan-Saudi relations to a new level.