Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have reaffirmed their resolve to consolidate security and stability, renounce violence, extremism and terrorism, support the unity and independence of the countries of the region and their territorial integrity, as well as to give priority to political solutions that bring prosperity and progress to the region and its people.

According to a joint statement issued at the conclusion of a three-day official visit by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Riyadh, the two sides exchanged views on issues of mutual concern at the regional and international levels and agreed on the importance to continue coordinating their positions in a way that serves their interests.

The prime minister, along with a delegation, visited Riyadh at the invitation of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia affirmed its continuous support to Pakistan and its economy, including the discussion of augmenting the three billion dollars deposit with the central bank through term extension or otherwise, and exploring options to further enhance the financing of petroleum products and supporting the economic structural reforms for the benefit of Pakistan and its people.

“Pakistan greatly appreciates the continued strong support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan,” the statement said.

The two sides agreed to continue exchanging support and coordination in international organisations and forums and stressed the importance of all countries’ commitment to the United Nations Charter and the principles of international law, adherence to the principles of good neighbourliness, respect for the unity and sovereignty of states, non-interference in internal affairs, and striving to resolve disputes by peaceful means.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcomed the statements of Pakistan mentioning its keenness to find a solution to all disputes with India, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

The two sides stressed the importance of dialogue between Pakistan and India in order to resolve the issues between the two countries, especially the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, to ensure peace and stability in the region.

During an official meeting between the prime minister and the Saudi crown prince, they reviewed the historical relations between the two countries and the close cooperation in various fields, as well as discussed ways to strengthen relations in all areas.

In the bilateral context, the two sides stressed the importance of strengthening work through the Saudi-Pakistani Supreme Coordination Council, diversifying trade exchange between the two brotherly countries and intensifying communication between the private sector in the two countries in order to discuss trade and investment opportunities and turn them into tangible partnerships.

The two sides also agreed to deepen the investment cooperation between the two countries, stimulate partnerships and enable investment integration opportunities between the private sector of the two countries.

They also agreed to join efforts to develop the investment environment in the two countries and support a number of investment sectors of common interest.

The two sides expressed their intention to hold investment forums in order to introduce the available opportunities to the business sectors of both sides, urge them to establish partnerships in various investment fields, and work jointly to solve the challenges faced by the investors through holding meetings of the Saudi-Pakistani Business Council.

The two sides welcomed the entry of the private sector of both countries into investment partnerships in the agricultural and food industries fields.

They expressed their hope that the Russian and Ukrainian sides would reach a political solution that would end the crisis, achieve security and stability, and limit negative repercussions at the regional and international levels.

The two sides discussed the latest developments in Afghanistan and agreed on the need to achieve security and stability, and to prevent the use of Afghan lands as a shelter for terrorist groups.

They also stressed the importance of respecting the rights guaranteed by the tolerant Islamic Sharia, in order to achieve security and peace for Afghanistan, and the continuation of concerted international efforts to provide aid to the Afghan people.

PM SHEHBAZ IN UAE: After completing his three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif arrived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on a day-long visit, a statement from the premier’s office said Saturday. 

During his visit to the UAE, the prime minister will meet Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

It is expected that both sides will discuss “matters of mutual interest, including bilateral relations of the countries”, the Prime Minister’s Office said in the statement.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Communications Minister Maulana Asad Mahmood, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Narcotics Control Minister Shahzain Bugti, MNAs Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Mohsin Dawar, among others, are accompanying the PM.

Before leaving for UAE, PM Shehbaz had met Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha in Makkah. 

In his meeting, PM Shehbaz affirmed his government’s commitment to promoting the interests of the Muslim ummah as a cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. 

“Pakistan, as the current chair of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, was looking forward to playing a proactive role with regard to the matters of interest and concern to the OIC member states,” the premier maintained. 

Thanking the secretary-general for OIC’s consistent and unequivocal support of the Kashmir cause, he urged the organisation to lead the diplomatic endeavours towards facilitating a peaceful and lasting solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

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