Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on Monday resolved to further strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries as well as to expedite ongoing cooperation in the fields of investment, energy and trade.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud reached the understanding during a telephonic conversation, according to a handout issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

“The two leaders also exchanged views on issues of mutual interest. Both the leaders reaffirmed the resolve to further [strengthen] the strong, long-standing Pakistan-Saudi Arabia fraternal ties,” the PMO said.

During the phone call, the prime minister and the crown prince reviewed the progress made on the decisions taken by the two sides during PM Shehbaz’s visit in April.

“They resolved to expedite ongoing cooperation in investment, energy and trade fields,” the statement said.

Recalling the historic support extended by the kingdom to Pakistan in times of need, the prime minister thanked the crown prince for the “recent support for the stability and development of Pakistan’s economy”.

PM Shehbaz also conveyed his deep respects to King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

Meanwhile, the crown prince congratulated the prime minister and the people of Pakistan on the country’s 75 years of independence. The crown prince also conveyed his best wishes for the continued progress, prosperity and development of Pakistan, the PMO said.

The prime minister reiterated his invitation to the crown prince for a state visit to Pakistan, which he accepted, the statement concluded.

PM Shehbaz had visited Saudi Arabia in April in what was his first foreign trip since assuming office.

The visit was aimed at advancing economic, trade and investment ties and creation of greater opportunities for the Pakistani workforce in Saudi Arabia.

Upon the conclusion of the trip, Saudi Arabia agreed to discuss extending the term of a $3 billion loan to help the government tide over the prevailing economic crisis.

Saudi Arabia had deposited $3 billion in the State Bank of Pakistan last year to help support its foreign reserves.

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