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Pak-Saudi Cooperation to Boost Peace and Security: Gen. Bajwa

by Newsweek Pakistan

Courtesy ISPR

Saudi army chief assures Pakistani counterpart of full support for all steps aimed at improving regional cooperation and stability

Greater cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will have a positive impact on peace and security in the region, Pakistan Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa said on Wednesday.

During an official visit to the Gulf kingdom ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Chief of Army Staff met Saudi Armed Forces Chief of General Staff Gen. Fayiadh bin Hamed al-Rowaily and discussed matters of mutual interest, according to a statement issued by the military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The two commanders also discussed the regional security situation, including the ongoing Afghan Peace Process, defense and security, and military-to-military cooperation.

“[The] COAS emphasized the need to further enhance military-to-military cooperation between the two armed forces and said that Pakistan-KSA cooperation will have positive impact on peace and security in the region,” read the ISPR statement. It said that the Gulf kingdom’s commander thanked Gen. Bajwa for his sentiments and assured Saudi Arabia’s full cooperation and support for all initiatives aimed at improving regional cooperation, peace, and stability.

Official visit

Prime Minister Imran Khan is set to travel to Saudi Arabia for a three-day official visit from May 7-9 on the invitation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office, he would be accompanied by several dignitaries, including Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other members of the federal cabinet.

It said that the prime minister planned to hold consultations with the Saudi leadership on several areas of interest, including bilateral cooperation in economic, trade, investment, and energy sectors. Job opportunities for Pakistanis, as well as the welfare of the Pakistani diaspora in the Gulf kingdom are also expected to be discussed.

Earlier, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Gen. (retd.) Bilal Akbar had claimed that several Memorandums of Understanding would be signed. He had also said that Khan would request Saudi Arabia to expedite the release of Pakistanis imprisoned in Saudi jails.

In addition to meeting the Saudi leadership, the premier is also scheduled to meet Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary-General Yousef Al-Othaimeen, as well as the Secretary-General of the World Muslim League, Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa.

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