Saudi FM to visit Pakistan tomorrow to discuss 'bilateral ties, regional issues' with FM Qureshi

Published July 26, 2021
In this file photo, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud speaks during a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, at the State Department, in Washington, US on October 14. — Reuters/File
In this file photo, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud speaks during a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, at the State Department, in Washington, US on October 14. — Reuters/File

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud will visit Pakistan on Tuesday to discuss bilateral ties as well as "regional and international issues" with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Foreign Office (FO) said on Monday.

"The two foreign ministers will exchange views on the entire gamut of Pak-Saudi ties, and regional and international issues," the FO tweeted, adding that the Saudi official will also call on other dignitaries during his visit.

According to Radio Pakistan, Prince Faisal will be accompanied by a delegation comprising senior officials of the Saudi government.

The state broadcaster quoted FO spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri as saying that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have "long-standing and historic fraternal relations, rooted deep in common faith, shared history and mutual support."

"The relationship is marked by close cooperation in all fields and mutual collaboration on regional and international issues," he added.

Chaudhri also highlighted that Saudi Arabia, as a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's Contact Group on Kashmir, had "steadfastly supported the Kashmir cause".

He described the " frequent high-level visits" by Saudi officials as "a key feature of the relationship that serves to further deepen and broaden the relationship [between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia] in myriad dimensions".

Prisoners' repatriation

The Saudi FM's visit comes roughly a week after 62 Pakistani prisoners were repatriated from Saudi Arabia via a special flight.

According to an earlier report, the prisoners were brought back home after Prime Minister Imran Khan intervened and arranged funds for their repatriation.

“On my instructions, funds were arranged & a special flight brought back 62 prisoners from KSA today, so they could be back with their families for Eid,” the prime minister had tweeted, announcing the prisoners' return.

Earlier in May, then special assistant to the prime minister on overseas Pakistanis had announced that Islamabad and Saudi Arabia had signed a deal to repatriate over 2,000 Pakistani prisoners languishing in Saudi Arabia’s jails. A Dawn report had said at the time it appeared that the agreement the PM aide was talking about was signed during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia in the same month.

Moreover, the government had announced last month the availability of $1.5 billion Saudi oil facility per annum.

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