Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on Dawn.com.

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience

.

Adel al-Jubeir assures Pakistan of Saudi Arabia's complete support in resolving tensions with India

Updated March 07, 2019

Email

Saudi State Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir is greeted by Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Prime Minister's Office.
Saudi State Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir is greeted by Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Prime Minister's Office.
Saudi State Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday. — Photo: Foreign Office
Saudi State Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday. — Photo: Foreign Office

Saudi State Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir arrived in Pakistan on Thursday in a follow-up meeting to Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman's two-day visit last month.

The Saudi minister, during his one-day visit, held meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

He was greeted at the Prime Minister's Office by the premier where the two discussed the ongoing Pak-India tensions and matters of regional and bilateral interest.

According to a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office, the premier expressed hope that the release of 2107 Pakistani prisoners — a request put forth by the prime minister on the night of the crown prince's arrival — and the increase in Haj quota would take place in a "smooth and timely manner".

The premier told Al-Jubeir that the crown prince had "won the hearts of [the] Pakistani people by his generous offer of support to Pakistani community", the statement said.

Saudi and Pakistani delegations holding talks at the Prime Minister Office on March 7, 2019. — PM Office
Saudi and Pakistani delegations holding talks at the Prime Minister Office on March 7, 2019. — PM Office

"Expressing satisfaction over the progress towards medium and long-term economic and investment cooperation, the prime minister hoped that the newly launched Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council will help build a comprehensive, tangible and result oriented relationship between the two countries," the press release further stated.

Minister Al-Jubeir conveyed "sincere wishes of the Saudi crown prince to the leadership and people of Pakistan", according to the statement.

He also expressed "deep appreciation for Pakistan's peace overtures to normalise [the] current situation" and "acknowleged the role played by Pakistan for regional peace and stability", the statement added.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razzaq Dawood, and Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua were also present during the meeting.

Meeting between the two counterparts

Earlier, upon his arrival, al-Jubeir was welcomed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' office by Qureshi.

The two officials discussed the current situation in the region, as well as other matters of common interest including economics, politics and security.

Saudi State Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on March 7, 2019. — Photo: Foreign Office
Saudi State Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on March 7, 2019. — Photo: Foreign Office

In today's meeting, the Saudi minister assured Foreign Minister Qureshi of Saudi Arabia's complete and overwhelming support towards solving the issues with India in a peaceful manner.

According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office, the foreign minister "expressed appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s steadfast support to Pakistan, especially the crown prince’s offer to help resolve the current stand-off between the two neighbours".

Qureshi also expressed his gratitude for the announcement of the release of 2107 Pakistani prisoners and also appreciated the increase in the Hajj Quota to 200,000 and the Road to Mecca Project.

"He expressed confidence that the establishment of Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council will help in advancing bilateral relations in a targeted and time bound manner," the FO statement further noted.

Al-Jubeir deeply appreciated "Pakistan's restraint in the existing charged environment". He acknowledged Pakistan's efforts to de-escalate the situation and the peace overtures made.

The envoy assured the foreign minister of the Kingdom's "support to seek peaceful settlement of all outstanding disputes between Pakistan and India".

The minister was visiting Pakistan on the instructions of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. When making the announcement regarding the minister's visit, Qureshi had told reporters that the Saudi envoy is coming to Pakistan with a special message from Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

The state minister was supposed to visit Pakistan on March 1, but his trip was delayed for unspecified reasons.

'A true friend'

The Saudi minister also called on the chief of army staff at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.

Saudi State Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ in Rawalpindi on March 7, 2019. — ISPR
Saudi State Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ in Rawalpindi on March 7, 2019. — ISPR

The meeting between the two revolved around "matters of mutual interest, regional security and [the] current situation between Pakistan and India", according to a press release issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The statement added that the "visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan’s positive role for regional peace and stability and reaffirmed KSA’s support to Pakistan".

General Bajwa thanked Al-Jubeir "for taking on the mantle of peace effort in very difficult circumstances", and said that Saudi Arabia "has always been a true friend of Pakistan", the ISPR statement further said.

Pak-India tensions

Last month, crisis gripped the region with the intrusion by Indian Air Force jets into Pakistani airspace following the killing of Indian troops in a suicide blast in India-occupied Kashmir.

Two intruding IAF jets were later downed by Pakistan and a pilot was captured only to be released as a unilateral goodwill gesture.

Amidst rhetoric by Indian officials in the aftermath of the attack, Pakistan had called back its high commissioner in India for consultations on Feb 18. The high commissioner will be returning to New Delhi today.

On Wednesday, the Pakistani foreign minister had thanked Saudi Arabia, among other countries, for their contribution in easing the situation between India and Pakistan.