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PM Abbasi in Saudi Arabia to inspect joint exercise of Islamic military alliance

Updated April 16, 2018

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Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi exchanges views with Dammam Governor Sauf bin Nayaf at King Abdulaziz Airbase. —APP
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi exchanges views with Dammam Governor Sauf bin Nayaf at King Abdulaziz Airbase. —APP

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi reached Saudi Arabia on Sunday a two-day visit to join other world leaders to witness the closing ceremony of the 24-country joint military exercise.

The month-long exercise Gulf Shield-1 aimed at strengthening military and security cooperation and coordination among the regional countries concludes on Monday.

Upon arrival at the King Abdulaziz Air Force Base at Al Khobar, the premier was received by Dammam Governor Prince Saud bin Nayef. Ambassador Khan Hasham bin Saddique and Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf al-Maliki were also present at the airbase.

PM Abbasi received by Dammam Governor Sauf bin Nayaf. —APP
PM Abbasi received by Dammam Governor Sauf bin Nayaf. —APP

Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir and Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa accompanied the prime minister.

Troops of the Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force C-130 aircraft, JF-17 Thunder Fighter jets, Pakistan Navy ships, and commandos from Special Services Group are participating in the exercise, touted as the largest military drill in the region in terms of diversity of troops, weapon systems and operational manoeuvring.

Brig Gen Abdullah Al-Subaie, the spokesman for Joint Gulf Shield-1, told a news conference that the exercise featured two types of military operations; conventional military operations that involved coastal defence attacks against the enemy, besides the irregular war operations carried out by besieging and penetrating villages and industrial installations to cleanse them of hostile elements.

The spokesman said the most important aspect of the exercise was to activate the concept of joint military combat operational plans to counter hostile acts that threaten the security and stability of the region.

PM Abbasi received by Dammam Governor Sauf bin Nayaf. —APP
PM Abbasi received by Dammam Governor Sauf bin Nayaf. —APP

The exercise also displayed military uniformity among the participating countries, in addition to the development of a sense of collective security, unity and common destiny, the spokesman said.

The closing ceremony would comprise a parade by the participating troops. King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud would receive the leaders, defence and foreign ministers and heads of different armed forces.