By Abid Siddique Chaudhary
ISLAMABAD : Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi received His Highness Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), at the Foreign Office today.
Extending a warm welcome to Prince Faisal, Foreign Minister Qureshi reaffirmed Pakistan’s abiding fraternal ties with Saudi Arabia. The Foreign Minister underlined that the relationship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had strong and robust foundations and was poised to acquire a new level. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Foreign Minister paid rich tribute to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman for achieving new heights of progress and development of the Kingdom under their visionary leadership.
The two Foreign Ministers had wide-ranging talks covering bilateral relations as well as regional and global issues of common interest. Recalling the successful visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia in May 2021, the two Foreign Ministers reviewed implementation status of the decisions taken during the visit. The two sides agreed to continue working closely to further strengthen bilateral relations in all spheres, with a particular focus on trade, investments, energy, the environment, and culture.
The two Foreign Ministers expressed satisfaction on the ongoing work related to the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council (SPSCC), which is a highest level platform designed to impart strategic direction to the development of Pakistan-Saudi relations. The two sides agreed that the SPSCC will play a catalytic role in fostering enhanced bilateral cooperation in all fields.
The Foreign Minister offered Pakistan’s full support in realization of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, including thorough sharing of experience and provision of requisite professional and technical manpower.
Foreign Minister Qureshi highlighted Pakistan’s shifting focus from geo-politics to geo-economics – with emphasis on three central pillars of peace, development partnerships, and connectivity.
The Foreign Minister also highlighted the transformational CPEC project and noted the vast opportunities for investments in the SEZs.
Foreign Minister Qureshi highlighted the human rights situation in IIOJK and underlined Pakistan’s principled position on the peaceful resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute in line with the UNSC resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people. The Foreign Minister thanked the Kingdom for its steadfast support for the Kashmir cause.
Foreign Minister Qureshi also apprised the Saudi Foreign Minister about Pakistan’s perspective for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan. Emphasizing that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister underlined Pakistan’s sincere and serious efforts for an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister stated that durable peace and stability in Afghanistan will open new avenues for regional connectivity and economic cooperation.
Highlighting the hardships being faced by Pakistani nationals due to current Covid-related travel restrictions, Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed the hope that in view of improved situation on the ground in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia would take steps to facilitate their travel to the Kingdom.
Commensurate with the close and cordial relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the Foreign Ministers of the two countries hold frequent consultations on all subjects of common interest. The visit of the Saudi Foreign Minister to Pakistan imparts further impetus to the positive momentum in bilateral exchanges and deepening mutual cooperation. Foreign Minister also hosted a luncheon in honour of the visiting dignitary and accompanying delegation.