RIYADH: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Syed Asim Munir exchanges views with Mohammed Bin Salman, the crown prince and prime minister of Saudi Arabia, during a meeting on Wednesday.—PPI
RIYADH: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Syed Asim Munir exchanges views with Mohammed Bin Salman, the crown prince and prime minister of Saudi Arabia, during a meeting on Wednesday.—PPI

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Wednesday that the kingdom wanted to strengthen bilateral ties with Pakistan, according to a press release issued by the military’s media wing.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Saudi crown prince stated this during his meeting with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir in Riyadh. This was Gen Munir’s second official visit to the kingdom. Dawn.com reports.

Prince Salman said Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have historic brotherly and strong relations, adding that both countries have always stood up for each other.

According to the ISPR news release, the army chief also held meetings with Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chief of General Staff of Saudi Armed Forces Gen Fayyadh Bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili, Assistant Minister for Defence Engineer Talal Abdullah Al Otaibi, and other senior military leadership.

During the meeting, wide-ranging issues of mutual interest, including regional peace and security, defence and security cooperation came under discussion.

Gen Munir thanked the Saudi leadership for their warm sentiments and support for Pakistan.

The army chief visited Saudi Arabia for the first time in official capacity last year to enhance ties between the two countries.

Last week, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said “a comprehensive strategic partnership” with Saudi Arabia was in the works after receiving a call from the Saudi crown prince.

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have long shared a multifaceted relationship rooted in mutual economic interests, strategic military cooperation, and shared Islamic heritage.

Historically, these ties have encompassed economic assistance, energy supplies and military collaboration, with Saudi Arabia being a significant source of financial aid and oil for Pakistan.

The military aspect of their relationship includes defence cooperation, training and joint exercises.

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2024

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