Sharif meets Saudi Arabian foreign minister

Islamabad, Jan 7: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Tuesday stressed the need to start a new era of strategic relationship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in order to broaden and deepen the existing cordial relations.

The remarks were made during Sharif’s meeting with Prince Saud Al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, foreign minister of Saudi Arabia who called on the Pakistani prime minister in Islamabad, Xinhua reported.

While discussing the Afghan situation, Sharif said Pakistan remains committed to facilitating Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process and added that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s interest.

Pakistan supports all efforts aimed at strengthening unity among the Islamic countries, said the prime minister.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia need to enhance trade to reflect the strong fraternal bonds that exist between the two countries by regular meetings of the commerce ministers to explore ways of enhancing trade, added Sharif.

He said both the countries have always stood by each other in testing times and the people of Pakistan deeply value relations with Saudi Arabia.

While discussing the energy situation of Pakistan, Sharif said Pakistan would welcome investment by the kingdom in its energy sector, as well as other sectors like infrastructure, agriculture and livestock.

He added that his government wishes to enhance economic and business ties with the kingdom and was ready to grant privileges to foreign businessmen.

Sharif thanked the Saudi government for extending help to Pakistani workers affected by the recent labour laws enacted in the kingdom, adding that the large Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia was a human bridge between the two brotherly countries.

IANS