Saudi Arabia visit to reaffirm bonds of brotherhood: PM Shehbaz

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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday expressed confidence that his visit to Saudi Arabia would renew and reaffirm the bonds of brotherhood and friendship with the Kingdom.

“Today, I am embarking on a visit to Saudi Arabia to renew and reaffirm our bonds of brotherhood and friendship,” the prime minister said in a tweet ahead of his three-day visit to Saudi Arabia on April 28-30.

PM Shehbaz, who will undertake his maiden foreign trip on the invitation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, said he would hold wide-ranging discussions with the Saudi leadership.

“Saudi Arabia is one of our greatest friends and as Custodian of the Two Holy Places, has a special place in all our hearts,” he said.

PM Shehbaz Sharif will reach the holy city of Madina today and will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including key members of the cabinet.

During the visit, he will have bilateral interaction with the Saudi leadership, with a particular focus on advancing economic, trade, and investment ties and creating greater opportunities for the Pakistani workforce in Saudi Arabia.

According to media reports ahead of the visit, Pakistan may seek a $7.4 billion financial assistance package from Saudi Arabia in the shape of cash deposits and oil on deferred payments, including rollover of the existing $4.2 billion facilities that are expiring by the end of this year.

The two sides will also exchange views on a range of regional and international issues of mutual interest.

The Foreign Office in a statement said: “The prime minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia will impart a strong impetus to deepening bilateral cooperation in diverse fields and further reinforce the growing partnership between the two countries.”

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are bound by a fraternal relationship marked by mutual trust and understanding, close cooperation, and an abiding tradition of supporting each other.

The people of Pakistan hold the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in the highest esteem.

The bilateral relationship is complemented by close mutual collaboration at regional and international fora. Saudi Arabia is a member of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is home to more than two million Pakistanis, contributing to the progress, prosperity, and economic development of the two brotherly countries.

The regular high-level visits are a key feature of this special relationship.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s historic visit to Saudi Arabia would open up a new chapter in exemplary friendship between the two countries.

Marriyum said that the visit was a manifestation of a historic relationship based on brotherhood, warmth, and mutual trust.

She said that after four years of confusion and turmoil, Pakistan’s relations with friendly countries were being mended now.

She congratulated the nation on the resumption of the journey of stability, development, and prosperity.

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