JEDDAH, Aug 7: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani arrived here Sunday on a two-day official visit to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah and discuss with the Saudi leadership ways to further strengthen bilateral ties and the situation in the region.Prime Minister Gilani was received at the airport by Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz, a close friend of Pakistan, Muhammad Naeem Khan, Pakistan’s Ambassador, and senior Saudi officials.Prime Minister Gilani’s visit to Saudi Arabia is all the more significant as it is rare that the Saudi government invites foreign dignitaries on official visits in the holy month of Ramadan, Pakistan’s newly appointed Ambassador Mohammad Naeem Khan told APP.
He said the visit was continuation of the visit of President Asif Ali Zardari in July and would focus on bilateral ties, economic relations and situation in the region.Prime Minister Gilani, 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, is scheduled to hold talks with King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and discuss ways to further strengthen bilateral ties.
Ambassador Naeem said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia desired peace and stability in the region and pursued a coordinated policy in that regard. He mentioned the Saudi appreciation for Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts and said Prime Minister Gilani would also assure King Abdullah of Pakistan’s full support to his initiative of inter-faith dialogue.He said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoyed close fraternal relations and the Prime Minister’s visit would contribute to further strengthen the mutually beneficial cooperation in multiple domains between the two brotherly countries.Prime Minister Gilani and his delegation are to perform Umrah later tonight and pray for peace and prosperity of Pakistan. – APP