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ISLAMABAD: The chairman of the Saudi Shura Council has expressed his country’s keen interest in exploring more avenues for investment in Gwadar.

Dr Abdullah bin Moham­mad bin Ibrahim Al-Shaikh expressed the desire during his meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser.

Talking to the Saudi official, the prime minister reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to peace and security of Saudi Arabia and sanctity of Harmain Sharifain and conveyed his best wishes to King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Moham­mad bin Salman.

Mr Khan underscored the importance of parliamentary exchanges between the two countries for greater understanding of each other’s legislative systems.

The prime minister ex­press­ed the hope for early release of Pakistani prisoners in Saudi Arabia, as promised by the crown prince during his visit to Islamabad.

Meanwhile, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, at a reception held in honour of the Saudi Shura Council, said that conducive environment existed for multi-sector investment and Saudi investors could benefit from these opportunities.

He said that during the crown prince’s visit, memoranda of understanding envisaging Saudi investment worth $20 billion were signed, which was a manifestation of the fact that Saudi Arabia considered Pakistan an important country.

Mr Sanjrani praised the vision-2030 unveiled by Saudi Arabia and hoped that the initiative would help reduce unemployment and develop linkages with international markets, besides offering a win-win situation for all.

He welcomed the launching of Pakistan-Saudi Arabia Supreme Coordina­tion Council, hoping that it would take tangible steps for promoting political, economic, social and cultural linkages.

He lauded the Saudi government’s decision to in­crease Haj quota for Pakistanis and reduce the visa fee.

The visiting dignitary said Saudi Arabia accorded high importance to its relations with Pakistan. “Our bilateral relations are rooted in history and people of both countries share common aspirations,” he said.

Earlier, the Saudi delegation was briefed on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The briefing comprised an overall picture of the corridor as well as possible avenues for investment in the projects.

The Saudi delegation also met National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser.

According to an official statement, Mr Qaiser stress­ed the need for close cooperation between parliaments of Pak­istan and Saudi Arabia. Dr Abdullah said Saudi Arabia wanted to expand the relations through enhanced parliamentary and economic ties.

Published in Dawn, April 26th, 2019