Saudi Arabia will always stand by Pakistan, says King Abdullah

Updated 26 July 2014
0

Saudi Arabia will always stand by Pakistan, says King Abdullah

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah said Saudi Arabia would always stand by Pakistan, its leadership and people.
During an hour-long meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at his palace on Thursday night, King Abdullah expressed his warm feelings and heartfelt prayers for a strong, prosperous and peaceful Pakistan.
He described Sharif as his brother and said Saudi-Pakistan ties go back to the days of the country’s founder, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah. They are rooted in history, he said.
The Saudi leadership and key aides of King Abdullah, including Crown Prince Salman, Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin, National Security Council chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, intelligence chief Prince Khaled bin Bandar, National Guard Minister Prince Miteb bin Abdullah and Deputy Foreign Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah were present at the high-profile meeting.
Sharif has been accorded an unprecedented honor since his arrival in the Kingdom four days ago. Earlier, he met Crown Prince Salman. The meeting reiterated the close ties that exist between the two countries. During the meeting, Crown Prince Salman famously said: “We consider Pakistan our second home.”
Two days ago, Prince Muqrin called on Sharif at his palace in Al-Hamra district. “This was an unprecedented gesture,” said a Pakistani diplomat. “Prince Muqrin’s visit to the prime minister’s palatial home in Jeddah proves the nature of our ties with Saudi Arabia.”
During his meeting with King Abdullah, Sharif expressed gratitude for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to him during his visit. He highlighted the special nature of brotherly ties between the two counties and emphasized that his government attached great importance to further strengthening these ties.
The two leaders discussed a range of issues, including the challenges being faced by the Muslim Ummah, and called for unity and solidarity in these critical times.
Sharif's confidant Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar accompanied him.
Ever since Sharif took over as Pakistan’s prime minister after a landslide victory in elections last year, Saudi Arabia has stood by him and has donated generously to help him and his nation tide over economic crises. The two leaders share a personal bonding. It was King Abdullah who came to Sharif’s help after Pervez Musharraf deposed him in a military coup in 1999.
From Saudi Arabia’s point of view, a stable Pakistan is the best ally in the Muslim world riven by troubles. “Saudi Arabia is the leader of the Muslim Ummah and economic and regional powerhouse and Pakistan is the Muslim world’s only nuclear power, and together they make a great combination to thwart the evil designs of the enemies of Islam,” said the diplomat.
After his meeting with the king, Sharif headed straight to Madinah and said his night prayers in the Prophet’s Mosque. He will be spending the last two days of Ramadan in Madinah and will say his Eid prayers in the holy mosque before returning to Jeddah and Pakistan.
For Sharif, spending the last 10 days of Ramadan in the holy land has been an annual ritual. For the Pakistani community in the Kingdom, the warm reception accorded to their prime minister by the top Saudi leadership is a source of strength and joy.
“It is a great feeling to know that our leader has so much respect in Saudi Arabia,” said Anwar Butt, an insurance executive. “It enhances our prestige and raises our profile in Saudi Arabia. It means a lot.”


Sharqiah Season: Salman Khan, Cuba Gooding Jr. to host discussions during Saudi Film Festival

Updated 40 min 45 sec ago
0

Sharqiah Season: Salman Khan, Cuba Gooding Jr. to host discussions during Saudi Film Festival

  • The six-day celebration of cinema is organized by the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts
  • The Sharqiah Season, the first of 11 Saudi seasons of entertainment, will run until the end of the month
DHAHRAN: As part of Sharqiah Season in the Eastern Province, the fifth Saudi Film Festival will feature Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. and Indian superstar Salman Khan.
The six-day celebration of cinema is organized by the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA) in partnership with the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).
Khan recently announced in a video message that he will visit Ithra on Sunday as a guest of the film festival.
“Hello Saudi Arabia, assalamu alaikum,” he said in the video. “See you at Ithra on the 24th of March, InshaAllah.”
The actor is best known for his performances in blockbuster Hindi flicks such as “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”, “Ek Tha Tiger” and its sequel “Tiger Zinda Hai.”
In “An Evening with the Stars,” Khan will talk about his lengthy Bollywood career as both a film star and a producer.
He has starred in more than 80 Bollywood films, and has produced more than 30 via his production company Salman Khan Films.
On Monday, Gooding Jr. will take to the stage to discuss his 30 years of experience as an actor.
The American is best known for his performances in “Jerry Maguire”, “A Few Good Men” and “Men of Honor.”
Gooding Jr. has played more than 85 roles over the course of his career. He won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Rod Tidwell in the 1996 film “Jerry Maguire.”
Tickets to both events, as well as for the film festival as a whole, are available on Ithra’s website.
The Sharqiah Season, the first of 11 Saudi seasons of entertainment, will run until the end of the month, with more than 83 activities in nine cities.