Riyadh to provide $500m to Pakistan for development projects

Published May 9, 2021
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and Prime Minister Imran Khan are seen upon his arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Friday. — Reuters
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and Prime Minister Imran Khan are seen upon his arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Friday. — Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have agreed to give strategic direction to their ties through the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council (SP-SCC) by strengthening and diversifying existing bilateral cooperation in different fields.

For this purpose, the Saudi Development Fund will finance projects worth $500 million, according to the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The projects to be launched under this initiative will pertain to the sectors of energy, hydropower generation, infrastructure, transport, communication and water resource development.

The SP-SCC, which will be co-chaired by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Prime Minister Imran Khan, was established after the two leaders signed an agreement in this regard late on Friday night shortly after the arrival of Mr Khan in the kingdom on a three-day official visit.

Imran and Saudi crown prince will co-chair coordination council

On Saturday, the prime minister, accompanied by the first lady and some cabinet members, flew to Madina. Before alighting from the plane in Madina, both the prime minister and his wife Bushra Bibi took their shoes off in respect and honour of the holy city. They went to Roza-i-Rasool (PBUH) and offered prayers.

Before visiting Madina, however, the prime minister and Saudi crown prince in a one-to-one meeting expressed the hope the SP-SCC would play a catalytic role in fostering enhanced bilateral cooperation in all fields.

During the meeting the prime minister conveyed his sincere regards to the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and thanked Prince Mohammad bin Salman for his invitation to visit the kingdom.

The prime minister also extended an invitation to the crown prince to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience.

Both the sides also held wide-ranging talks on bilateral, regional and international issues. Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa also participated in the talks.

Later, the two sides witnessed signing of a number of bilateral agreements/memorandums of understanding, including agreement on cooperation in the field of combating crimes; agreement on transfer of convicted individuals (prisoners); MoU on combating illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals; and framework MoU for financing of projects (worth up to $500m).

Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2021

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