The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will depart for Saudi Arabia tomorrow (Saturday) on a three-day trip, his first foreign visit since assuming office for a second time.

The ministry said that the premier will be accompanied by the ministers for foreign affairs, defence, information and economic affairs, adding that the visit would take place from April 6 to 8.

During his trip, PM Shehbaz is expected to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss issues of mutual interest. “The leaders will also exchange views on regional and global developments.,” the statement said.

The statement added that both countries were committed to advancing fraternal ties and mutually rewarding economic and investment relations. It emphasised the longstanding fraternal relations between both countries which are “rooted in religious and cultural affinity.”

The ministry added that the premier would also perform Umrah and offer prayers at Masjid-i-Nabwi.

On March 16, PM Shehbaz had said that Pakistan was working closely with Saudi Arabia to “transform the deep-rooted, historic fraternal Pakistan-Saudi Arabia ties into a comprehensive strategic partnership”.

He had made the remarks as Crown Prince Salman called to congratulate PM Shehbaz on assuming office. During the conversation, the premier told the crown prince that “Pakistan was proud of its historic, deep-rooted and fraternal ties with Saudi Arabia and the two countries had always stood together through thick and thin”.

Subsequently, Chief of Army Staff Asim Munir had met with the Saudi crown prince during his second official trip to the country. According to a press release issued by the military’s media wing, during his visit, the crown prince had stated the kingdom wanted to strengthen bilateral ties with Pakistan.

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