Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez has said that there is no rift in the relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. He was responding to a question at a weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday.
Hafeez said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have always enjoyed unique relations, deep-rooted in religion, culture, and social ties.
The spokesperson said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s remarks on the subject in his recent media engagement and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s just concluded visit to Saudi Arabia testify to the unchanged fraternal relations and close contact between the two brotherly countries.
Moreover, he also said the two countries have strong economic, political, security, and military cooperation at all levels.
He said the visit by PM Imran and the landmark visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last year has cemented our relations. It provided new avenues of cooperation in trade, investment, and other fields.
Hafeez said Pakistan values Saudi Arabia’s important role in the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistani army chief visits Saudi Arabia
Pakistan’s army chief met with senior Saudi Arabian officials in Riyadh on Monday in an effort to ease a row between the two countries over policy towards the disputed region of Indian-Occupied Kashmir.
Riyadh, reportedly, is irked by FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s demands to convene an OIC meeting on Kashmir. The argument has reportedly threatened Riyadh’s financial lifeline to Islamabad.
According to Reuters, General Bajwa’s visit was primarily military-affairs oriented. Meanwhile, his visit aimed at trying to calm the situation. If the Pak-Saudi ties are not mended, it could badly hurt Pakistan’s central bank foreign reserves.
General Bajwa met with Saudi Vice Minister of Defense Khalid bin Salman. The two discussed bilateral relations, military cooperation, and a common vision for preserving regional security.
Saudi Arabia is Pakistan’s traditional ally and have no rift in relations. It gave Pakistan a $3 billion loan and $3.2 billion oil credit facility to help its balance of payments crisis in 2018. Saudi Arabia also made Pakistan pay back $1 billion early and is reportedly demanding another $1 billion of the loan. Pakistan’s FO had to clear the air as there were speculations that Saudi Arabia has disowned Pakistan. Time will tell, what’s ahead for our future together.
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