ISLAMABAD: Prime Min­i­ster Imran Khan arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday to attend the launching ceremony of the three-day ‘Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) Summit’ being held in Riyadh where he would be sharing Pakistan’s perspective on environmental challenges.

PM Khan is undertaking the visit on the invitation of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Besides his wife Bushra Bibi, the prime minister is acc­ompanied by Foreign Min­ister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Energy Minister Hammad Azhar, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Cli­m­ate Change Malik Amin Asl­am and Special Represen­tative on Religious Harmony Maulana Tahir Ashrafi.

On reaching Madina, the prime minister and his delegation were warmly received by Madina’s Deputy Gover­nor Prince Saud bin Khalid Al Faisal.

Mr Khan then proceeded to Masjid-i-Nabwi where he paid his respects at Roza-i-Rasool (peace be upon him). Later in the night, he reached Jeddah where Deputy Gover­nor of Makkah region Prince Badar bin Sultan Al Saud was present to receive him. He is expected to travel to Makkah to perform Umrah.

As one of the lead speakers at the launching ceremony of the MGI Summit, PM Khan will share his country’s experiences in executing the successful ‘10 Billion Tree Tsunami’ project which had received appreciation at the world level.

He will also speak on the challenges faced by developing countries due to climate change and highlight Pakistan’s experience of launching nature-based solutions to address environmental challenges.

The MGI summit, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East, is the initiative of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

It may be mentioned here that the ‘Green Saudi Arabia’ and ‘Green Middle East’ initiatives were launched by the crown prince in March this year with an aim to protect nature and the planet.

Prime Minister Khan had welcomed the two initiatives and offered to share with Riyadh the experiences and lessons learnt from ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’ and Prime Minister’s ‘10 Billion Tree Tsunami’ programmes.

The Prime Minister’s Office announced that Mr Khan would also hold bilateral meetings with the Saudi leadership, with particular focus on advancing economic and trade relations, creating more opportunities for the Pakistani workforce and welfare of the Pakistani diaspora in the kingdom.

The two sides will exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.

PM Khan will also be participating in an event to promote investment in Pakistan and interact with leading investors and businessmen from Saudi Arabia as well as overseas Pakistanis.

Saudi Arabia is home to more than two million Pakistanis who are contributing towards the progress and prosperity of both countries.

The relationship is marked by frequent high-level visits, close cooperation in all fields and mutual collaboration on regional and international issues, including at the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.

Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2021

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