Ties with Saudi Arabia ‘as old as Pakistan’: PM Abbasi tells Arab News

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi during the latter’s visit to Riyadh on Aug. 23.
Updated 09 October 2017
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Ties with Saudi Arabia ‘as old as Pakistan’: PM Abbasi tells Arab News

ISLAMABAD: Relations with Saudi Arabia are “as old as Pakistan is,” Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told Arab News.
As such, it was “natural” for him to make his first visit after assuming office on Aug. 1 to the Kingdom, he said, describing Saudi Arabia as “our oldest friend.”
Abbasi said that during his visit to Riyadh on Aug. 23, he told Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that in Pakistan “we have a lot of differences on every issue,” but “we only agree on only one thing: Saudi Arabia.”
Abbasi described the visit as “very cordial,” adding that they discussed Crown Prince Mohammed’s Vision 2030 reform plan.
The prime minister said Saudi Arabia also feels a deep and strong bond with Pakistan. He said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told him that a quarter of last year’s Umrah visitors to the Kingdom were from Pakistan. “They had 8 million Umrah visitors and 2 million came from Pakistan. So, 25 percent of the Umrah visitors were from Pakistan,” he said.
“There are more than 2.5 million Pakistanis working in Saudi Arabia,” said Abbasi. “I also worked there, and visited on and off for almost six years in the mid-1980s.”
The Kingdom “is like another home to us,” he added.
“Every household you find here (in Pakistan) has some connection to Saudi Arabia. People have visited for Hajj or Umrah, or they have relatives working there or doing business there.”
Arab News exclusive interview with Pakistan PM


Germany, Saudi Arabia agree to turn page after diplomatic row

We should have been clearer in our communication and engagement, said Maas. (AFP)
Updated 53 min 19 sec ago
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Germany, Saudi Arabia agree to turn page after diplomatic row

  • The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, extended an invitation to his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, to visit the Kingdom at the earliest opportunity
  • We aim for close cooperation between our two countries and to this end seek to intensify our dialogue on a broad range of topics: Maas

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday welcomed a statement by the German foreign minister pledging his intention to work toward strengthening ties and enhancing cooperation between the two countries. 

Riyadh said the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Germany was a “historic and important” one, and the countries played a leading role in bolstering international security and stability, and the global economy. 

The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, extended an invitation to his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, to visit the Kingdom at the earliest opportunity, “so that both countries may begin a new phase of close cooperation in all areas to the benefit of both our countries and peoples.”

Earlier, the German foreign minister said relations had “witnessed misunderstandings” in recent months “which stand in sharp contrast to our otherwise strong and strategic ties. We sincerely regret this.”

The minister said: “We should have been clearer in our communications and engagement in order to avoid such misunderstandings.

“We aim for close cooperation between our two countries and to this end seek to intensify our dialogue on a broad range of topics.

“Saudi Arabia plays an immensely important role for peace and stability in the region and the world. As there is a broad range of bilateral and international issues to discuss, we will do our best to make this partnership with the Kingdom even stronger than before.

“Considering our role in Europe and the world, improving our ties with Saudi Arabia will serve the interest of both nations and peoples.”