RIYADH: GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN
Published — Tuesday 1 January 2013
Last update 1 January 2013 3:38 am
Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal will meet with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to discuss a wide range of bilateral and regional issues, said Mohammed Naeem Khan, Pakistani ambassador to the Kingdom.
Khar’s talks with the Saudi leadership will focus primarily on ways to promote bilateral relations, key regional issues and mutual international concerns.
Ambassador Khan said: “Khar will be in Riyadh on the invitation of Prince Saud. Her two-day visit beginning Tuesday will strengthen the strategic relationship between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the world’s leading Islamic states.”
He said Foreign Minister Khar would be discussing ways to boost economic relationships and Saudi investments in Pakistan. “Riyadh and Islamabad, in fact, have had extensive commercial, cultural, religious and most importantly, excellent strategic relations through the years,” he said, adding the Kingdom and Pakistan are the leading member countries of the Jeddah-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Ambassador Khan said the Pakistani foreign minister will not be visiting any other country and his ministerial consultations are directed to “taking stock of the situation.” The discussions in Riyadh will be rich in political content. Pakistan, is not only a member of the UN Security Council, it is a close defense ally of the Kingdom.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have forged closer ties on an economic front. The Kingdom is the largest supplier of oil to Pakistan and a donor of educational aid to Islamabad. The Kingdom plays an active role in boosting trade with Pakistan and accelerating efforts to negotiate a GCC-Pakistan free trade agreement. The Kingdom is home to more than 1.5 million Pakistani workers.