ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, upon invitation of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will undertake a three-day visit to the Kingdom on March 9, Foreign Office (FO) statement said on Monday.

Nawaz is among a number of other heads of state who have been invited to witness the ongoing 'Thunder of the North' military exercises, conducted by 21 countries who are part of the Saudi anti-terrorism coalition, and its closing ceremony. Among the countries taking part are Saudi Arabia's five partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), as well as Chad, Egypt, Jordan, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Senegal and Tunisia, Saudi news agency SPA earlier said.

The stated goal of the exercise is to improve training in responding to threats posed by terrorist groups, the FO said.

Both countries enjoy multi-faceted cooperation in the fields of defence and counter-terrorism, the statement said, adding that Pakistan has affirmed to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with "our Saudi brethren" against any threat to their territorial integrity and sovereignty.

The FO added Pakistan has consistently supported all regional and international efforts to combat militancy, extremism and terrorism and has extended its full support and cooperation to the international community.

Saudi Press Agency (SPA) earlier called the exercise the "most important and largest in the region's history” in terms of the number of nations taking part and the weaponry being used.

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