Saudi, Chinese ministers call on PM Khan in Islamabad

Updated September 09, 2018


Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday held separate meetings with the Saudi media minister and the Chinese foreign minister at Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in Islamabad, APP reported.

Minister of Media Awwad Bin Saleh Al-Awwad assured PM Khan that the Kingdom fully supports Pakistan's efforts to bring peace and stability in the region. The two officials discussed other matters of mutual interest as well.

The Saudi official conveyed felicitations to PM Khan on behalf of the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, and invited him to visit Saudi Arabia, Radio Pakistan reported.

Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Al-Maliki was also present at the reception of Awwad, acording to the SPA news agency.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry both attended the meeting, APP reported, quoting a press release from the PMO.

Awwad's meeting with Khan comes a day after he held a meeting with Qureshi during which he conveyed Saudi Arabia's desire to work with the new government.

Awwad also met Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Rawalpindi yesterday, and affirmed his country's commitment to strengthening its brotherly ties with Pakistan.

Saudi Arabia asked to relax visa requirements for pilgrims

Awwad also held a meeting with Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri, who asked that the Kingdom increase the quota for Pakistani pilgrims by 40-45,000. He further said that the Saudi government must relax its visa policy for people who wished to perform Umrah.

Haq also requested Saudi government to provide land for Pakistan House near the holy sites in both Makkah and Madina.

The Saudi minister assured Haq that his country will increase the quota of pilgrims in next year's Haj. He also promised to facilitate pilgrims.

Regarding the provision of land, Awwad said that he would pass the request onto Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and hoped that the matter would be decided once Prime Minister Khan visits the Kingdom.

Chinese FM calls on PM Khan

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who is on a three-day visit to Pakistan, also met with PM Khan. The meeting was attended by the information minister and foreign minister.

According to a tweet from the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's official account, Yi discussed "bilateral relations" with the prime minister.

A day earlier, Wang also held meetings with Qureshi and the army chief. Qureshi assured his Chinese counterpart that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would remain a priority for the government, while Wang rejected the impression that CPEC projects were compounding Pakistan’s debt burden.