Army chief General Raheel Sharif has reiterated that any threat to Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity will evoke a response from Islamabad. Sharif made the remarks Sunday in a statement after Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman called on him in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, adjacent to the capital.
Salman earlier arrived in Islamabad, making him the second top Saudi official to visit Pakistan in a week amid growing tension with Iran.-AP
BR Staff reporter ZAHEER ABBASI from Islamabad adds:
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif said on Sunday that Pakistan enjoys close and brotherly relations with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and attaches great importance to their security.
According to ISPR, COAS stated this during a meeting with Saudi deputy crown prince and Defence Minister Muhammad Bin Salman who called on him after his arrival in Pakistan and held discussions on matters related to regional security and defence cooperation.
Saudi Defence Minister’s visit to Pakistan was the second high-level visit after kingdom’s foreign minister’s visit.
Saudi Defence Minister stated that Saudi Arabia attaches great importance to Pakistan and lauded Pakistan armed forces’ role against terrorism. He said that his country also acknowledges Pakistan’s efforts with respect to stability in the region.
He said that Pakistan is very important for his country and also lauded Pakistan armed forces’ role against terrorism. The Saudi Minister re-affirmed Kingdom’s full support to Pakistan’s position on all matters.
After his meeting with Raheel Sharif, Saudi Defence Minister along with a 20-member delegation first held a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif which was reportedly followed by a delegation-level talks on religious, defence, diplomatic and other matters.
According to media reports, Saudi defence minister also conveyed a special message of Crown Prince to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and held discussions on prospects of Pakistan’s role in the military alliance of 34 Islamic countries. The discussion between the two also focused on tense relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran with Prime Minister stating that Islamic countries should play their role towards de-escalating tensions between the two countries. Nawaz Sharif stated that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy long-term brotherly relations.
Earlier on his arrival at Islamabad airport, he was welcomed by his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Asif and advisor to Prime Minister on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz.
On Wednesday, Saudi foreign minister Dr Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir visited Pakistan held discussed issues of regional security with Pakistan military leadership.
According to a press release, the Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister of KSA, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud called on the Prime Minister on the evening of Sunday, January 10, 2016.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif welcomed the Deputy Crown Prince and stated that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Custodian of the Holy Mosques were held in high esteem by the people of Pakistan. The Prime Minister affirmed that the people of Pakistan are bonded with the people of KSA through historical, cultural and Islamic ties of brotherhood. He added that the people of Pakistan would always stand with the people of Saudi Arabia, against any threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom. The Prime Minister welcomed the Saudi initiative to establish a coalition of like-minded Islamic countries to counter terrorism and militancy and informed the Deputy Crown Prince that Pakistan supports efforts to counter terrorism and extremism.
The two leaders agreed to further strengthen the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and deepen the cooperation in all fields, including defence security, fight against terrorism, trade and investment and manpower requirements of the Kingdom. The Deputy Crown Prince appreciated the valiant efforts waged by the security and law enforcement authorities to root out terrorism from Pakistan, particularly through the military campaign Zarb-e-Azb. He was briefed on the progress in the implementation of the National Action Plan to eliminate extremism and terrorism. It was agreed that the two countries would cooperate in developing an effective counter-narrative to defeat the extremist mindset. The visit provided a welcome opportunity to both sides to reaffirm their shared resolve to deepen bilateral cooperation and work together to address the challenge of terrorism which is common enemy for both.
The Prime Minister recalled that Pakistan has historically pursued the policy of promoting brotherhood among member states of OIC. Pakistan has also always expressed its readiness to offer its good offices to brotherly Muslim countries, for resolution of their differences through peaceful dialogue and reconciliation.-PR
Source: Business Recorder