JEDDAH: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan met with King Salman on Wednesday as part of his first state visit overseas.
During the talks, they reviewed the close relations between their two countries, the prospects for their development and strengthening in various fields, as well as the latest regional developments, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The meeting was attended by Prince Khalid Al Faisal, Advisor to the King, Prince of Makkah Region, Prince Mansour bin Mteb bin Abdulaziz and a number of other officials from both countries.
Khan arrived in the Kingdom on Tuesday for a visit expected to focus on bilateral ties, regional security and Pakistan's economic situation.
Earlier, the prime minister was received by the King at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah before the a luncheon was held in his honor.
He then met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who congratulated him on his election as prime minister.
“They reviewed the historical relations between the two brotherly countries and ways to enhance them,” SPA said.
Khan, a former renowned cricketer who turned to politics and was sworn in as prime minister last month, said the leaders, along with their ministers and officials, held detailed talks on how to strengthen their relations.
They exchanged ideas on enhancing cooperation in “political, defense, economic, commercial and cultural sectors” and developing “joint ventures,” a statement from Khan’s office said.
A royal guard of honour, and the Pakistani National Anthem in the power corridors of Saudi Arabia as Prime Minister Imran Khan meets King Salman. A proud moment for every Pakistani. pic.twitter.com/3oWsN1UpHA
— PTI (@PTIofficial) September 19, 2018
The two countries would also strengthen collaboration in human resource and address issues faced by Pakistani expatriates in Saudi Arabia.
Khan praised the Saudi leadership on a “smooth and successful Hajj” and commended the Crown Prince for leading the Kingdom towards a modern and developed economy.
The statement also said the two countries acknowledged each others efforts and sacrifices to defeat extremism and terrorism.
Khan invited the King and Crown Prince to visit Pakistan.
In an interview with Al Arabiya aired on Wednesday, Khan said Pakistan would always stand by Saudi Arabia, and that anyone who comes into power in the country would visit the Kingdom first.
“Saudi Arabia came to Pakistan's aid when it needed it,” Khan said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Khan performed Umrah in Makkah.
He then held a series of meetings, including with the Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih on Wednesday.
Khan received Al-Falih at his residence in Jeddah to discuss ways of cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
He also held a meeting with the Secretary General of the Islamic Cooperation Organization (OIC) Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen.
On Tuesday, he visited Madinah where he prayed at the Prophet's Mosque.
Khan left Jeddah on Wednesday afternoon and flew to the UAE where he was met by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed for the second state visit of his premiership.
Khan, whose Tehreek-e-Insaf party won the July elections, is accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other senior members of his cabinet.
He faces many challenges in the early stages of his leadership including tackling major problems with the country’s finances that could lead to another IMF bailout package.