ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday agreed to strengthen their relationship particularly in the economic domain including cooperation in trade, investment and technology.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan in a joint presser held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, vowed to continue extending support to each other on issues of regional and international importance.
Prince Farhan, who arrived in Islamabad this morning, earlier led the delegation-level talks with Foreign Minister Qureshi that encompassed a diverse gamut of matters.
The Saudi foreign minister said, “We hope to build on the momentum of strong bonds based on our brotherhood, as the two countries have always stood by each other in difficult times.”
He termed the delegation-level talks as “very, very fruitful discussions” held on bilateral matters with all areas of broader spectrum came under discussion, with special focus on economic ties.
The Saudi foreign minister said his government would encourage the businessmen from both sides to explore opportunities of investment in areas of technology. He also assured extending facilitation to the Pakistani travelers, especially in areas of visa restrictions related to the COVID-19 vaccination.
On climate change, he expressed the Saudi commitment to continue working with Pakistan as the country pursued the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan of achieving goals of preservation of the environment.
Saudi FM Faisal bin Farhan appreciated the contributions of Pakistani community towards the development of Saudi Arabia.
“We are working to lighten the travel restrictions for passengers from Pakistan and also making sure that the Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia gets vaccinated,” he said. He said Pakistan had done “exceptionally well” in overcoming the coronavirus.
The Saudi FM said security was the key factor in ensuring economic prosperity and vowed to facilitate the efforts for peace, whether in Kashmir, Palestine or Afghanistan.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi calling the Saudi FM “my friend and my brother” said at the bilateral front, Pakistan was “comfortable how things were moving”. He said the talks focused on ways to improve economic linkages through bilateral trade and investments.
Qureshi mentioned that Monday’s senior officials-level talks about the structure of the Saudi-Pak Supreme Coordination Council for its activation.
“Focal persons from both foreign ministries have been appointed to materialize a structured and institutionalized way of looking at our bilateral relations,” he said. He thanked the government of Saudi Arabia for always supporting the stance of Pakistan on Jammu and Kashmir.
On Afghanistan, he said, both sides shared the same objectives of ensuring peace and stability. He said easing up of travel restrictions amid the coronavirus situation also came under discussion, where the Saudi side agreed to extend facilitation.
He said Pakistani workforce could contribute positively towards the implementation of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 of development.
Qureshi mentioned that the two sides agreed to strengthen cultural linkages and cooperation on fighting against climate change. Earlier, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia held delegation-level talks to discuss bilateral matters besides the issues of regional and international importance.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi led the Pakistan side, while his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan represented the delegation of Saudi Arabia. In his welcome remarks, Foreign Minister Qureshi said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoyed commonalities in their relationship based on religion, culture and history.
Qureshi said the two countries stood by each other in difficult times, adding that Pakistan was committed to the security and solidarity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He lauded the active role played by Saudi Arabia for peace in the region, particularly reducing tension in the Gulf. He expressed gratitude to the government of Saudi Arabia for supporting Pakistan’s stance on India’s illegal act of revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.