Imran meets Salman
Pakistan Prime Minister visited Saudi Arabia for the fourth time since May, 2019 to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Image Credit: SP

Dubai: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for resolving the Middle East disputes and differences through diplomatic means.

His comments came as he called on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman during his fourth visit to Saudi Arabia on Saturday since May, 2019.

“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,” Imran said in the bilateral meeting held in Saudi capital. The leadership on both sides remains determined to take Pak-Saudi relations to a new level, according APP, the official news agency of Pakistan.

According to Pakistan Foreign Office, Prime Minister Imran paid a day long visit to the Kingdom as part of regular exchanges at the leadership level between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Imran first arrived in Madinah and visited the Prophet’s Mosque before heading to Riyadh. In Riyadh, Khan was received by Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar at King Khalid International Airport.

Imran held wide-ranging consultations with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman covering bilateral matters and developments in the regional context.

Prime Minister Imran emphasised the strategic importance of Pakistan-Saudi relationship and termed it a pivotal partnership for peace, progress and prosperity. He extended warm felicitations on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s assumption of G20 presidency. He said it was a reflection of the Kingdom’s leadership role and stature in the international community and Pakistan wished Saudi Arabia a highly successful G20 presidency.

New era of bilateral relations

In the bilateral context, Prime Minister Imran underscored the unique strength of Pakistan-Saudi relations, based on mutual trust and understanding. He noted that high level visits were the hallmark of the relationship and the crown prince’s visit to Pakistan in last February had ushered in a new era of deeper engagement across the economic, investment, energy, security and defence, and people-to-people domains.

Both the leaders expressed satisfaction over 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.

Imran apprised the Saudi Crown Prince of the latest situation in the Indian Administered Kashmir, marked by continuous lockdown and other restrictions since August 5, 2019.

The Saudi side offered all possible support in the development of tourism sector of Pakistan. In this context it was agreed that a Saudi team would undertake a visit to Pakistan soon.

Kuala Lumpur Summit

Prime Minister Imran’s visit comes ahead of the upcoming Kuala Lumpur Summit being hosted by Malaysia from December 19-21. The plan for the summit was finalised during a trilateral meeting involving Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia in September in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.

Imran has confirmed his participation in the summit that is also being attended by leaders of Turkey, Qatar and Iran in addition to hosts Malaysia. Around 450 leaders, scholars, clerics, and thinkers from 52 countries are expected to attend the event.

General Bajwa calls on Mohammed Bin Zayed

Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa also visited Abu Dhabi on Saturday to call on His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The Inter-Services Public Relations said the two discussed “regional security environment and matters of mutual interest.”

According to Wam, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed and General Bajwa discussed ways to enhance cooperation and coordination between the two countries in defence and military affairs.

They further exchanged views on “the latest regional and international developments as well as a number of issues of mutual concern”, the newswire added.

Both leaders agreed to further enhancing cooperation and collaboration for promoting friendly ties and supporting regional and international peace and security efforts.