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Pakistan

PM Shehbaz arrives in Saudi Arabia for three-day official visit

  • This is the PM's first foreign visit after assuming office
Published April 28, 2022

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif arrived in Madina along with his delegation with aims to advance economic, trade, and investment ties.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said that PM Shehbaz was received by Faisal bin Salman Al Saud, Governor Madina upon arrival.

PM Shehbaz is in Saudi Arabia at the invitation of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.

During the visit, the Prime Minister will hold meetings with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz and other relevant officials to discuss ways to enhance economic and trade ties and promote investment.

The Prime Minister will also discuss ways to create more jobs for the Pakistani workers in Saudi Arabia.

This is the PM's first foreign visit after assuming office.

"I will have wide-ranging discussions with Saudi leadership. KSA is one of our greatest friends and as Custodian of the Two Holy Places, has a special place in all our hearts," he tweeted earlier.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Foreign Office had said that Prime Minister Shehbaz's visit to Saudi Arabia will be aimed at advancing trade relations with the friendly country as well as creating opportunities for the Pakistani workforce in Saudi Arabia.

"Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are bound by fraternal relationships marked by mutual trust and understanding, close cooperation and an abiding tradition of supporting each other. The people of Pakistan hold the custodian of the two Holy Mosques in the highest esteem," the statement said.

PM’s Saudi trip to focus on strengthening economic, investment ties

During the visit, Shehbaz is expected to hold bilateral interaction with the Saudi leadership and the two sides are expected to exchange views on a range of regional and international issues of mutual interest.

"I think a basic aim of this visit by Sharif would be to reset relations with (Prince Mohammed bin Salman) and establish the terms of what is probably going to be a much more transactional partnership," Arif Rafiq, an expert on Pakistan and president of the Vizier Consulting risk advisory firm told Reuters.

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest crude exporter, already supports Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves and has established a mechanism for selling oil to Pakistan on deferred payment, he said.

"The Pakistanis might ask Riyadh for additional deposits in its central bank because its external account is under severe stress," he added.

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