PM Shehbaz and Saudi Crown Prince discuss bilateral, economic ties

Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman on Saturday held discussions to further strengthen the bilateral, economic, investment and trade ties between the two countries.
During the meeting, issues of mutual, global and regional interest were also discussed between the two leaders during a meeting at the Royal Palace.
PM Shehbaz reached the Saudi port city of Jeddah on Friday and was received by Governor of Makkah Khalid Bin Faisal Al Saud and National Security Adviser Dr Musaed Al-Aiban.
During the meeting, the premier also discussed job-creation opportunities in the kingdom for Pakistani expatriates.
Earlier, upon his arrival at the palace, the premier was warmly welcomed by the crown prince. He was also given a guard of honour.
After his arrival in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, the prime minister, along with his delegation, paid respects at the Grand Mosque in Madina.
NNI adds: Meanwhile, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Saturday affirmed his government’s commitment to promoting the interests of Muslim Ummah as a corner-stone of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
The prime minister was talking to OIC Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha, who called on him.
The prime minister thanked the Secretary General for OIC’s consistent and unequivocal support to the Kashmir cause.
He urged the Organization to lead the diplomatic endeavors towards facilitating a peaceful and lasting solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
The prime minister maintained that 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.
Prime minister Shehbaz Sharif invited the OIC to launch a concerted effort to stop the ongoing Israeli aggression against Al-Aqsa Mosque and other occupied Palestinian territories.
He stressed that Israel must not be allowed to divide the blessed Mosque, temporally and spatially, between the peoples of different faith.
The prime minister underscored the need for provision of urgent humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people and emphasized that the OIC should step up its efforts to counter growing Islamophobia at the international level.
The prime minister invited the secretary general to pay a visit to Pakistan which was accepted.
The secretary general reaffirmed the OIC’s support for a just and peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.
He expressed resolve to work closely with Pakistan on key issues of concern to the Muslim Ummah, especially Palestine, Afghanistan and Islamophobia.
The secretary general reiterated his felicitations to the prime minister on his recent election and assumption of office.
He also highlighted the important role that Pakistan has always played in the OIC as a founding member.
During the meeting, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, ministers Miftah Ismail, Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Chaudhry Salik Hussain, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Mohsin Dawar and Maulana Tahir Ashrafi also accompanied the prime minister.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Saturday left for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after wrapping up his three-day official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
During his visit to UAE, the prime minister will hold meeting with Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Both sides would discuss the bilateral ties between Pakistan and UAE and other issues of mutual interest.
The prime minister along with a delegation had arrived in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on a three-day official visit at the invitation of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.