Pakistan, Saudi Arabia agree on strengthening ties

JEDDAH: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday agreed to enhance cooperation and boost their ties in a comprehensive manner. Bilateral relations, cooperation and regional situation were reviewed during an audience by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani with the Custodian of two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz here at the Royal Palace. The leaders also agreed to work closely to promote the cause of global peace, promote harmony and tolerance among different religions and espouse the universal values of humanity and brotherhood. Prime Minister Gilani highly appreciated the contribution of King Abdullah to promote interfaith harmony.

A broad consensus was reached on enhancing Pakistan-Saudi Arabia partnership based on comprehensive cooperation. Modalities and mechanism for this purpose were also discussed.Both sides expressed the wish to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation and work closely to safeguard the stability and peace in the region and Islamic world.Prime Minister Gilani who is here on an official visit was received by King Abdullah, during the holy month of Ramzan reflecting a very special gesture.King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz said Pakistan was a key member of the Ummah and a close friend of the Kingdom. “Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are one country; they are more than friends and more than brothers,” King Abdullah said.King Abdullah assured the prime minister of the Kingdom’s steadfast support to Pakistan. He also lauded Pakistan’s support to the Kingdom.

Prime Minister Gilani reciprocating the feelings regarding their close ties said “Pakistan’s security was Saudi Arabia’s security and Saudi Arabia’s security was Pakistan’s security.”Prime Minister Gilani informed King Abdullah about Pakistan’s relations with the regional countries.He also informed the King about Pakistan’s efforts to promote peace, reconciliation in Afghanistan and its efforts to improve relations with India. King Abdullah appreciated the progress and said it was important that there are good relations between the neighbouring countries.

King Abdullah also informed him about his conversation with Afghan President Karzai and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who also welcomed that the things were moving in the right direction and reciprocated Pakistan’s desire to live in peace and harmony for regional stability.He said there was a general understanding that conflicts bring losses and leads to dependence on others. The Prime Minister also appreciated the Saudi government for promoting interfaith dialogue in the Muslim world.

King Abdullah said he has worked hard for peace for the believers of the Holy Books across the world and for better relations between the Muslims and non-Muslims. He said there were differences but believed that animosity leads to economic and moral destruction. However he believed that humans were brothers and the benefits of living together with harmony were above everything.

Prime Minister Gilani said these were challenging times for the Muslim Ummah and wider cooperation and deeper understanding between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were critical for the stability and prosperity of the Muslim world. The Prime Minister appreciated the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the welfare and development of the Muslim world and said there was an urgent need to ensure peaceful transformation, order, stability and unity in Islamic states.

He also expressed his sense of gratitude to the people and government of Saudi Arabia for extending generous assistance to the earthquake and flood affected people of Pakistan and pointed that the rehabilitation work was continuing at a steady pace.Prime Minister Gilani extended an invitation to King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz to visit Pakistan.  King Abdullah said that he would visit Pakistan at a time and date convenient to both the countries.

Prime Minister Gilani was accompanied by Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Senior Minister for Industries Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Barrister Masood Kausar and Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, Principal Secretary Khushnood Akhtar Lashari, Press Secretary Muhammad Akram Shaheedi and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Muhammad Naeem Khan. – APP