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Pakistan FM to Asharq Al-Awsat: Saudi Arabia is Key to Regional Stability

Pakistan FM to Asharq Al-Awsat: Saudi Arabia is Key to Regional Stability

Friday, 15 February, 2019 - 09:15
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi
Islamabad - Mohammed al-Ayedh
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has stressed the importance of the role played by Saudi Arabia in preserving regional peace and stability.

Qureshi also reaffirmed that the upcoming visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to Pakistan is expected to lay the foundations for effective and comprehensive cooperation.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Qureshi noted that each of Saudi Arabia and the UAE have contributed to pushing the Afghan peace process forward.

He also pointed out that Pakistan is determined to carry on its fight to eliminate extremism by spreading the spirit of moderation and tolerance in order to achieve collective harmony.

Pakistan will seek to benefit from the Saudi model on organizing cultural activities and festivals to foster an atmosphere of coexistence and moderation, Qureshi said while pointing to the Kingdom enjoying great respect and influence inside Pakistan.

The top diplomat also told his interviewer that special Saudi-Pakistani ties are historic in nature, stressing that Saudi Arabia has always stood in solidarity with Pakistan against all plights it had suffered. Qureshi reaffirmed that Pakistanis will be forever grateful for Saudi stances.

On the Saudi Crown Prince’s trip, Qureshi said that a delegation was sent to Pakistan to arrange for and ensure a more effective visit.

“We are very pleased with the visit of the Crown Prince, who seeks to establish effective communication at all levels. I expect this visit to have a significant impact in driving solid ties to higher levels between the two countries,” Qureshi told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Tackling Saudi investments in the south Asian country, Qureshi said Saudi Arabia was a groundbreaker in that field and has not only been a great supporter, but also helped open the door wide for others to invest in Pakistan.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have reportedly finalized an agreement to build a multi billion dollar Saudi Aramco oil refinery in Gwadar, a city in Balochistan province.

Such a Saudi initiative gives fresh impetus to Pakistan’s investment environment, “providing many benefits to all parties,” according to Qureshi.

Speaking on Pakistan’s behalf, the FM said it will provide guarantees and security measures for successful investment on its territory.

He said relations between Riyadh and Islamabad will further strengthen after the Crown Prince's visit.

The trip is expected to result in establishing a new coordination council headed by the Saudi Crown Prince and the Pakistani Prime Minister. This will include the relevant ministries in both countries, promoting joint interests of both states and peoples.

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