Pakistan PM meets Saudi leaders, condemns Aramco attacks

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is greeted by King Salman. (SPA)
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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is greeted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (SPA)
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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is greeted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (SPA)
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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is greeted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (SPA)
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Khalid Al-Faisal, Advisor to the Saudi king and governor of Makkah welcomed the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan. (AFP)
Updated 20 September 2019

Pakistan PM meets Saudi leaders, condemns Aramco attacks

  • Khan expressed Pakistan’s support for the Kingdom and its efforts to combat these acts of sabotage”
  • The PM also briefed Crown Prince Mohammed about the situation in Indian-administered Kashmir

RIYADH: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the recent missile and drone strikes on Saudi Aramco oil facilities in the Eastern Province while meeting Saudi leaders in Jeddah on Thursday.

“Pakistan will stand by Saudi Arabia in case of any threat to the sanctity and security of the two holy mosques,” Khan said. 

The king stressed that the Kingdom is capable of dealing with the criminal acts that target the security and stability of the region and global energy supplies.

The prime minister also briefed Crown Prince Mohammed about the situation in Indian-administered Kashmir after New Delhi revoked the limited constitutional autonomy of the disputed Himalayan region on August 5.

Earlier in the day, the prime minister arrived in Saudi Arabia on a two-day official visit, before his trip to New York to attend the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. 

Makkah governor Prince Khalid bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz received Khan at King Abdulaziz International Airport. Pakistan’s envoy to Saudi Arabia Raja Ali Ejaz was also in attendance.

Khan was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mehmood, the prime minister's special aide for overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Bukhari, and other officials. 

The foreign office said late Wednesday that Khan would discuss the “various dimensions of the grave situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, arising from India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019” during his meeting with the Saudi leadership 

“The Prime Minister has been in regular contact on the Kashmir issue with His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman,” the foreign office statement read.

It further highlighted the “growing momentum in Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relations in all areas of cooperation” since the visit to Islamabad by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in February 2019.

“During the Prime Minister’s visit, the two sides will discuss ways of further strengthening the economic partnership between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,” the official handout stated.

Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia is expected to further reinforce the close ties between the two countries and deepen bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 06 June 2020

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.